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Bladder Cancer (cont.)

What are Different Stages of Bladder Cancer?

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As in most cancers, the chances of recovery are determined by the stage of the disease. Stage refers to the size of the cancer and the extent to which it has invaded the bladder wall and spread to other parts of the body. Staging is based on imaging studies (such as CT scans, X-rays, or ultrasound) and biopsy results. Each stage has its own treatment options and chance for cure. In addition, equally important is the grade of the bladder cancer. High-grade tumors are significantly more aggressive and life threatening than low-grade tumors.

  • Stage CIS: Cancer that is flat and is limited to the innermost lining of the bladder; CIS is high-grade
  • Stage Ta: Cancer that is limited to the most superficial mucosal layer (innermost lining) of the bladder
  • Stage T1: Cancer that has penetrated beyond the mucosal layer into the submucosal tissue (lamina propria)
  • Stage T2: Cancer that has invaded part way through the thickness of the muscular bladder wall
  • Stage T3: Cancer that has invaded all the way through the thickness of the muscular bladder wall and into surrounding fat
  • Stage T4: Cancer that has invaded adjacent structures, such as the prostate, uterus, or vagina, but not to lymph nodes in the region
  • Staging also includes N and M staging groups to define when a cancer has spread to lymph nodes, or to distant organs such as the liver, lungs, or bones
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 8/17/2015
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