Types of Bladder Cancer
Bladder cancers are named for the specific type of cell that becomes cancerous. Most bladder cancers are transitional cell carcinomas, named for the cells that line the bladder. Other less common types of bladder cancer are squamous cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma.
Transitional Cell Carcinoma
Bladder cancer that begins inside the innermost tissue layer of the bladder, the transitional epithelium, is known as transitional cell carcinoma. This type of lining cell is are able to stretch when the bladder is full and shrink when it is emptied. Most bladder cancers begin in the transitional epithelium.
There are two types of transitional cell carcinoma, low-grade and high-grade. Low-grade transitional cell carcinoma tends to come back after treatment, but rarely spreads into the muscle layer of the bladder or to other parts of the body. High-grade transitional cell carcinoma also tends to come back after treatment and will often spread into the muscle layer of the bladder, other parts of the body, and the lymph nodes. High-grade diseases cause most bladder cancer deaths.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Squamous cells are thin, flat cells that may lead to bladder cancer after irritation or long-term infection.
Adenocarcinoma cancers emerge from glandular cells in the lining of the bladder. Adenocarcinoma is a very rare form of bladder cancer.