Bladder Cancer

The Bladder Cancer Team at Smilow Cancer Hospital is at the forefront of bladder cancer treatment and research, integrating innovative approaches and the latest research and technology to provide superior patient care. Bladder cancer is a disease in which cancer cells form in the tissues of the bladder. It is the fourth most common cancer in men and the eighth most common cancer in women. About 75,000 people in the United States are diagnosed annually. 


Patients at Smilow Cancer Hospital have access to the world’s most advanced diagnostic technologies for bladder cancer. There is currently no effective screening exam for bladder cancer. Typical symptoms of bladder cancer are blood in the urine or voiding symptoms with urinary urgency or frequency. There are two standard ways that we test for bladder cancer; a urine test and cystoscopy, where a very small camera is put into the bladder. In partnership with Yale Urology, we are very fortunate to be able to offer our patients blue light cystoscopy, which is a very helpful tool, especially when diagnosing one of the most aggressive types of cancer in the bladder, carcinoma in situ. It can help better detect these cancers, and also reduces recurrence. 


For non-muscle invasive bladder cancer, treatment is usually TURBT or transurethral resection of the bladder tumor. Our surgeons have tremendous experience treating muscle invasive bladder cancer. A radical cystectomy is most often performed for this type of cancer, which is a removal of the bladder.


For patients in need of drug therapy, our medical oncology team offers breakthrough clinical trials using new combinations of standard treatments, immunotherapies, and novel therapies. Each patient’s treatment plan is tailored based on their diagnosis and the molecular characteristics of their tumor.