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Clinical presentation, diagnosis, and staging of bladder cancer

Yair Lotan, MD
Toni K Choueiri, MD
Section Editor
Seth P Lerner, MD
Deputy Editor
Michael E Ross, MD


Bladder cancer is the most common malignancy involving the urinary system. Urothelial (transitional cell) carcinoma is the predominant histologic type in the United States and Europe, where it accounts for 90 percent of all bladder cancers. In other areas of the world, non-urothelial carcinomas are more frequent. Much less commonly, urothelial cancers can arise in the renal pelvis, ureter, or urethra. (See "Epidemiology and risk factors of urothelial (transitional cell) carcinoma of the bladder", section on 'Epidemiology'.)

The spectrum of bladder cancer includes non-muscle-invasive (superficial), muscle-invasive, and metastatic disease, each with its own clinical behavior, biology, prognosis, and treatment.

The clinical presentation, diagnosis, and staging of bladder cancer will be presented here.

The management of patients with bladder cancer, including specific recommendations based upon the stage of disease, is discussed separately:

Overview of bladder cancer treatment (see "Overview of the initial approach and management of urothelial bladder cancer")

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Literature review current through: Nov 2017. | This topic last updated: Sep 05, 2017.
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