Types of bladder cancer
Bladder cancer may appear in different forms.
Transitional cell bladder cancer (TCC) Back to top
TCC, also known as urothelial carcinoma, is the most common type of bladder cancer. The cancer starts in cells, called transitional cells, in the bladder lining (urothelium).
Some bladder cancers begin as an invasive tumour growing into the muscle wall of the bladder. Others begin at a non-invasive stage that involves only the inner lining of the bladder - this is early (superficial) bladder cancer. Some non-invasive cancers develop into invasive bladder cancer.
Carcinoma in situ (CIS) Back to top
This is a type of non-invasive bladder cancer that appears as a flat, red area in the bladder. CIS can grow quickly, and if it’s not treated effectively, there’s a high risk that CIS will develop into an invasive bladder cancer.
Papillary bladder cancer is a form of early bladder cancer. It appears as mushroom-like growths or is leaf-shaped like seaweed (fronds). Some people may have both papillary cancer and CIS.
Rarer types of bladder cancer Back to top
These include squamous cell cancer and adenocarcinoma. Squamous cell cancers start from another type of cell in the bladder lining. Adenocarcinoma starts from glandular cells. Both of these types of bladder cancer are usually invasive. Our cancer support specialists can give you information about these types of bladder cancer.