Department of Health

Bladder cancer

Bladder cancer is a condition where a malignant growth develops within the bladder. Bladder cancer is twice as likely to occur in men as it is to women.

There are two types of bladder cancer:

  • Superficial, where the cancer can look flat and red, or where the cancer takes on a mushroom like appearance and protrudes from the lining of the bladder. Superficial cancers do not often spread to other parts of the body.
  • Invasive, where transitional cell cancers grow deeply into the wall of the bladder. These are more likely to spread to other parts of the body.

Some of the risks that are associated with bladder cancer include:

  • A chemotherapy drug called cyclophosphamide
  • Age (those over 55 years are more at risk)
  • Chronic inflammation of the bladder
  • Exposure to certain chemicals or substances
  • Smoking
  • Race and gender
  • Family genetics.

The most common symptom of bladder cancer is the presence of blood in the urine. It may not be consistent and is normally not painful, however it will appear on an irregular basis. Other symptoms include a burning feeling whilst urinating and the need to urinate more frequently.

Further information

For further information please contact your doctor or The Cancer Council of Australia:

The Cancer Council Australia
GPO Box 4708, Sydney NSW 2001
120 Chalmers Street, Surry Hills 2010
Phone: 02 8063 4100
Fax: 02 8063 4101
Cancer Council Helpline: 13 11 20