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Bladder Cancer Stages


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The cancer caused in the bladder is called the bladder cancer. The bladder is a muscular and a hollow organ that does the work of eliminating the liquid waste in the form of urine. This is done once the kidney filters the blood and sends the waste to the bladder.

Bladder cancer is a condition when some infectious cells get on the tissue of the bladder to damage it. There are some stages in which the bladder cancer grows and impacts the individual's health. Life expectancy is different for different bladder cancer stages. The bladder cancer stages can be elaborated below.

What is bladder cancer staging?

Staging is a method which is used to refer the possibilities as to how far the cancer must have spread in an individual's body parts as well as the bladder wall. Staging is based on biopsies and imaging studies. The system of staging which is used in the cancer of bladder is 'tumor, node, metastasis' also called as TNM.

Importance of bladder cancer staging:

The bladder cancer staging is very important with respect to decision making of what treatment should be followed, when it can get recovered, and what can be the outcome of the treatment.

Stages of the bladder cancer:

  • The T stage in bladder cancer:

    The cancer that has shown its presence only in the bladder's innermost linings known as 'carcinoma in the situ' (Tis or CIS) or Ta. The cancer Bladder Cancer Stages which has further grown or spread into the bladder has been given a T number from 1-4. The T1 stage shows that the cancer has started its growth just under the bladder lining in the connective tissues. T2 and T3 are the middle stages. The T4 stage shows that it is spreading or has already spread outside the bladder.

    In short, the T4 is known as the advanced bladder cancer, T2 and T3 are known as invasive bladder cancer, Ta, CIS, and T1 tumors are the early or superficial bladder cancer.

    Briefing of the T stage bladder cancer:

    • CIS- detection of high grade cancer cells occur only in the bladder linings innermost layer

    • Ta stage in bladder cancer- The cancer has shown its occurrence only in the bladder linings innermost layer

    • T1 stage in bladder cancer- The growth of the cancer is seen below the bladder lining in the connective tissues

    • T2 stage in bladder cancer- The cancer has grown into the muscle through the connective tissue

    • T2a stage in bladder cancer- The muscle which is superficial is affected by the cancer

    • T2b stage in bladder cancer- The deeper muscles are affected by the cancer

    • T3 stage in bladder cancer- The cancer has grown into the fat layer through the muscle

    • T3a stage in bladder cancer- The cancer is seen only under a microscope in the fat layer

    • T3b stage in bladder cancer- Cancer which is present in the layer of fat can be seen by the doctor during tests, or examinations under the anesthesia

    • T4 stage in bladder cancer- It shows that the cancer has already reached outside the bladder

    • T4a stage in bladder cancer- The cancer has reached upto the womb, vagina, or the prostate

    • T4b stage in bladder cancer- The cancer has grown towards the abdomen or the pelvis wall

  • The N stage in Bladder cancer

    Bladder cancer has four lymph nodes. They can be measured or seen on MRI, or CT or can be found if the bladder removal surgery is needed.

    Briefing of the N stage Bladder cancer:

    • N0 stage in bladder cancer- It means there is no cancer in any of the lymph nodes.

    • N1stage in bladder cancer- In the pelvis, there is one lymph node which is affected (inside your hip bone, in the lower part of the tummy).

    • N2 stage in bladder cancer- There is more than a single affected lymph node that appears in the pelvis.

    • N3 stage in bladder cancer- present in the groin, there is one or more than one affected lymph node. If bladder cancer is detected in any of your lymph nodes, the doctor may suggest you to undergo chemotherapy treatment before the surgery.

  • The M stage in Bladder cancer:

    For most of the cancers, there are two types of stages for the spread of cancer or metastases. The cancer either spreads to another body organ (M1) or it does not (M0). If bladder cancer spreads to any other part of an individual's body, it can commonly happen that it would go to the lungs, lever or bones. If you come across a situation where the cancer has spread, then you are very likely to have an advanced bladder cancer.

The bladder cancer stages have been introduced in order to know how the cancer develops and affects an individual's body. The bladder cancer stages are helpful for the doctors as well as the patients to understand how exactly the cancer acts in the body.

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