The bladder is the organ in your body that stores urine. Bladder cancers typically begin in the cells of the inner lining of the bladder and are called transitional cell carcinomas or urothelial carcinomas.

Bladder cancer is divided into two categories: superficial, also called noninvasive, which occurs only in the lining of the bladder; and invasive, or muscle-invasive, which has spread through the bladder lining to the muscle wall. When bladder cancer spreads to other sites in the body, it is called metastatic bladder cancer.

Bladder Cancer at Markey Cancer Center

Using state-of-the-art technology and leading-edge medical and surgical interventions, Markey’s bladder cancer team provides advanced and timely diagnosis and individualized, ongoing care for patients. Each patient is cared for by a team of specialists who meet regularly to discuss individual patient cases and treatment plans. This multidisciplinary team will work with you and your doctor to coordinate a care plan designed to offer the best outcomes. Markey has provided state-of-the-art cancer care for more than 30 years, and we are proud to be the only cancer center in Kentucky designated by the National Cancer Institute. Since 2017, Markey Cancer Center has been nationally recognized as a top 50 cancer center by U.S. News & World Report.

Cancer can cause a variety of symptoms, including:

  • Blood with a rusty, red or pink hue, or blood clots, which appear as dark particles in your urine
  • Frequent urination
  • Needing to urinate but not being able to
  • Pain during urination
  • Pain in the lower back on one side

According to the National Cancer Institute, the five-year survival rate for bladder cancer is 96 percent if the cancer has not spread. The survival rate of localized spreading of bladder cancer is 67 percent. For cancer that has spread to other parts of the body, the survival rate can be much lower.

You can lower your risk of cancer by committing to practices that build a healthy lifestyle. These recommendations can lower your risk for this disease, as well as improve your overall basic health.

  • Avoid using tobacco products. Tobacco has been tied to multiple cancers, and it is responsible for 90 percent of lung cancer deaths.
  • Stay physically active. Your physical activity is related to risk for colon and breast cancer. Excess weight gained from inactivity increases the risk of multiple cancers.
  • Limit alcohol consumption. It is important to be mindful of your alcohol consumption. Alcohol intake, even in moderate amounts, can increase the risk for colon, breast, esophageal and oropharyngeal cancer.
  • Learn about screenings. Your primary care doctor can recommend appropriate cancer screenings based on your age, personal risk and family history.
  • Age. Nearly 90 percent of all cases of bladder cancer are found in people over 55.
  • Chronic bladder inflammation. People who have had chronic bladder inflammation, such as from recurring bladder infections, kidney stones and bladder stones, are at greater risk.
  • Family history. People with family members who have been diagnosed with bladder cancer are at greater risk.
  • Gender. Men are four times as likely to be diagnosed with bladder cancer as women are. Bladder cancer is the fourth most diagnosed cancer in men. 
  • Smoking. Smokers are two to four times as likely to develop bladder cancer as nonsmokers, making smoking the most significant risk factor. Smoking is estimated to be responsible for 47 percent of bladder cancers in men and 37 percent in women.
  • For your first visit, you will be directed to the multidisciplinary clinic in the Whitney-Hendrickson Building. Get directions to Whitney-Hendrickson.
  • You can register at the front desk or registration area, where a Markey team member will help guide you through your appointment.
  • Several parking options are available to patients of Markey Cancer Center.
  • Please remember to bring your patient packet with the completed forms. These items will help your doctor learn more about your case and determine the best plan for your care.
  • To meet our patient needs, UK HealthCare accepts many forms of insurance.  

Clinical trials are research studies aimed at evaluating medical, surgical or behavioral interventions to determine if a new treatment is safe and effective.

At the UK Markey Cancer Center, we are advancing cancer care and research to prevent, detect and treat one patient at a time. As a patient at Markey, you have a team of people looking at your individual case, applying the most recent cancer knowledge to give you the best chance of survival.

Markey has more open clinical trials than any other cancer center in the region, giving you access to some of the most advanced options available. Learn more about ongoing clinical trials for treating bladder cancer below.

Search Our Ongoing Clinical Trials for Bladder Cancer

NCI Comprehensive Cancer Center - A Cancer Center Designated by the National Cancer Institute

Markey Cancer Center is designated by the National Cancer Institute as a Comprehensive Cancer Center – a distinction that recognizes our commitment to accelerating precision cancer research and care to patients. We are the first and only NCI-Comprehensive Cancer Center in Kentucky, and one of 57 in the nation.