Urothelial bladder cancer

This is the most common type of bladder cancer. It is also called transitional cell carcinoma (TCC). It starts in cells in the bladder lining. These cells are called urothelial or transitional cells. Bladder cancer may be non-muscle-invasive, muscle-invasive or advanced.

Non muscle invasive bladder cancer

This is when the cancer cells are only in the inner lining of the bladder. They have not spread (invaded) into the muscle layer. Non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer can be mushroom shaped, which is called a papillary tumour (Ta). It can also be flat and red, which is called carcinoma in situ (CIS). Some people may have both papillary cancer and CIS.

Muscle invasive bladder cancer

In muscle-invasive bladder cancer, the cancer has spread into or through the muscle layer of the bladder.

Advanced bladder cancer

Advanced bladder cancer is when the cancer has spread to other parts of the body.

Less common types of bladder cancer

Less common types of bladder cancer include:

  • squamous cell cancer
  • adenocarcinoma
  • small cell bladder cancer.

These start from different types of cells in the bladder lining and are usually muscle-invasive.

For more information about these types of bladder cancer, you can call the Macmillan Support Line on 0808 808 00 00.