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  1. Basics
  2. Symptoms
  3. Diagnosis
  4. Treatment
  5. Prevention
  6. Knowledge Center

Our Approach

This team, which includes medical, surgical and radiation oncologists, as well as a specially trained support staff, works together closely to provide comprehensive, but personalized care every step of the way.

And, they target bladder cancer with the very latest leading-edge technology and techniques for diagnosis and treatment, many of which are available at only a few cancer centers in the nation. These include:

  • Gene therapy
  • Laparoscopic robotic surgery
  • Advanced reconstruction techniques
  • Innovative and personalized chemotherapy
  • Immunotherapy, including BCG (Bacillus Calmette-Guérin)
  • Chemoprevention


MD Anderson surgeons are among the most experienced in the nation in bladder cancer procedures. This can make a crucial difference in your chances for successful treatment and recovery.

We offer early detection and chemoprevention for those at high risk of developing bladder cancer. And we are particularly experienced in the management of high-risk, complex bladder cancer cases, especially those that have returned after treatment.

You're surrounded by the strength of one of the nation's largest and most experienced comprehensive cancer centers, which has all the support and wellness services needed to treat the whole person – not just the disease.

The most frequent bladder cancer symptom is blood in the urine (hematuria), which causes the urine to appear rusty or deep red in color. However, hematuria cannot always be detected by the naked eye, and it can be a symptom of other conditions such as kidney or bladder stones or urinary tract infection.

Other bladder cancer symptoms may include:

  • Changes in bladder habits
  • Painful urination
  • Frequent urination
  • Having the urge to urinate

These symptoms do not always mean you have bladder cancer. However, it is important to discuss any symptoms with your doctor, since they may signal other health problems.

Bladder Cancer Diagnosis

If you have symptoms that may signal bladder cancer, your doctor will examine you and ask you questions about your health; your lifestyle, including smoking and drinking habits; and your family medical history.

One or more of the following tests may be used to find out if you have bladder cancer and if it has spread. These tests also may be used to find out if treatment is working.

Blood and urine tests

Cystoscopy: This is the most frequent and reliable test for bladder cancer. A thin tube with a camera on the end (cystoscope) is inserted into the bladder through the urethra. The cystoscope also can be used to take a tissue sample for biopsy and treat superficial tumors without surgery. However, cystoscopy is not always accurate when performed alone, and flat lesions (carcinoma in situ) and small papillary tumors can be missed. 

Imaging tests, which may include:

  • CT or CAT (computed axial tomography) scans
  • MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scans
  • PET (positron emission tomography) scans
  • Intravenous pyelogram (IVP): A dye is injected, which then travels through the urinary system and shows up on an X-ray
  • Bone scan
  • Chest X-ray
  • CT urogram

Our Treatment Approach

Your bladder cancer care is customized to include the most advanced therapies. Many of these are available at only a few locations in the United States, including:

  • Advanced surgical and reconstructive procedures
  • Laparoscopic robotic surgery
  • Conformal 3D and IMRT radiotherapy
  • Immunotherapy, including Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG)
  • Latest chemotherapy options

Our skilled surgeons, who utilize the latest bladder cancer and reconstruction techniques, are among the most experienced in the nation. This can make an essential difference in the success of your treatment and recovery.

And, as one of the nation’s largest cancer research centers, we offer a variety of clinical trials of new therapies for bladder cancer.

Bladder Cancer Screening

Cancer screening exams are important medical tests done when you’re at risk but don’t have symptoms. They help find cancer at its earliest stage, when the chances for successful treatment are highest.

When bladder cancer is found in the early stages, it has a much higher rate of successful treatment. If you are at high risk for bladder cancer, talk to your doctor about screening tests, which may include cystoscopy, imaging tests, or blood and urine tests.

People considered at high risk for bladder cancer are at least 50 years old with hematuria (blood in the urine), or under age 50 with visible hematuria. 

Bladder Cancer Risk Factors

Anything that increases your chance of getting bladder cancer is a risk factor. These include:

  • Smoking tobacco: This is the greatest risk factor for bladder cancer. Smokers, including pipe and cigar smokers, are two to three times more likely than nonsmokers to get bladder cancer. Chemicals in tobacco smoke are absorbed into the blood, and then they pass through the kidneys and collect in the urine. These chemicals can damage the inside of the bladder and increase your chances of getting bladder cancer.
  • Age: The chance of developing bladder cancer increases with age, and it is uncommon in people under 40
  • Race: Bladder cancer occurs twice as often in Caucasians as it does in African-Americans and Hispanics. Asians have the lowest rate of developing the disease
  • Gender: Men are up to four times as likely as women to get bladder cancer
  • Personal history of bladder cancer: Bladder cancer has a 50% to 80% chance of returning after treatment. This is the highest of any cancer, including skin cancer
  • Exposure to chemicals: People who work around certain chemicals are more likely to get bladder cancer. These include:
    • People who work in the rubber, chemical and leather industries
    • Hairdressers
    • Machinists and metal workers
    • Printers
    • Painters
    • Textile workers
    • Truck drivers
    • People who work at dry cleaners
  • Infections: People infected with certain parasites, which are more common in tropical climates, have an increased risk of bladder cancer
  • Treatment with cyclophosphamide or arsenic: These drugs, which are used in the treatment of cancer and other conditions, raise the risk of bladder cancer. Arsenic in drinking water may increase risk too. 
  • Chronic bladder problems: Infections and kidney stones may be risk factors, but no direct link has been established
  • History of taking a fangchi, a Chinese herb
  • Having a kidney transplant
  • Hereditary nonpolyposis colon cancer (HNPCC, also called Lynch syndrome)

Not everyone with risk factors gets bladder cancer. However, if you have risk factors, it’s a good idea to discuss them with your doctor.

Contact Us

Dr. E Borges Road, Parel, Mumbai - 400 012 India
Phone: +91-22- 24177000, 24146750 - 55
Fax: +91-22-24146937
E-mail : msoffice@tmc.gov.in (for patient care and queries) / hrd@tmc.gov.in(for administrative - HRD matters)

674063 (211)