About bladder cancer

What is the bladder?

The Urinary System

The bladder is part of the urinary system. It is a hollow, muscular and elastic organ found in the lower part of your belly (abdomen). The bladder collects and stores urine.Urine is made in the kidneys and passes through tubes called ureters to the bladder. When the bladder is full, urine is passed from the body through a tube called the urethra.

The bladder has a number of layers. The innermost layer has a special lining that prevents urine being reabsorbed into the body. It also allows the bladder to stretch. This lining has cells called transitional cells. The other layers are made up of connective tissue, muscle and fat.

What is bladder cancer?

When cancer develops in the bladder, the cells change and grow in an abnormal way. These cancer cells can affect how the bladder works normally. The cells can then form a tumour. A malignant tumour is also known as cancer. If a malignant tumour is not treated, it will affect how the bladder works.

How common is bladder cancer?

Bladder cancer can occur in both men and women. In 2017 it was estimated that around 470 people in Ireland are diagnosed with bladder cancer each year.