Bladder Cancer Types: An Introduction
The wall of the bladder is lined with transitional cells and squamous cells. The types of bladder cancer
affect these cells differently:
- More than 90 percent of bladder cancers begin in the transitional cells. This type of cancer is called transitional cell carcinoma.
- About 8 percent of people with bladder cancer have a second type known as squamous cell bladder carcinoma.
- About 2 percent of people with the condition have a third bladder cancer type, referred to as adenocarcinoma.
Bladder cancers are also identified as superficial or invasive. When the cancer has spread outside of the bladder, it is known as metastatic bladder cancer.
Transitional Cell Carcinoma
Transitional cell carcinoma begins in cells in the innermost tissue layer of the bladder. In this type of bladder cancer, the cells are able to stretch when the bladder is full and shrink when the bladder is emptied. Most bladder cancers begin in the transitional cells.
Squamous Cell Bladder Carcinoma
Squamous cell bladder carcinoma begins in squamous cells, which are thin, flat cells that may form in the bladder after a long-term infection or irritation.
Adenocarcinoma is bladder cancer type that begins in glandular (secretory) cells. Glandular cells, which are found in the lining of the bladder, make substances such as mucus.