What Is Bladder Cancer Pathophysiology?

By on February 7, 2014

Bladder cancer is a very complex illness that occurs to the lining of bladder and if left untreated, it may spread to muscle layers of bladder making the condition even worse.

In bladder cancer, certain dangerous cells invade bladder and damage healthy cells which lead to improper functioning of the bladder.

Almost all the cancers of bladder are epithelial in origin. It is often referred as polyclonal field variation defect by frequent recurrences because of heightened potential meant for malignant formation. It can also be due to implantation of tumor cells that have mutated from previously affected site.

So, What Do We need to Know About Pathophysiology of Bladder Cancer?

Bladder Cancer PathophysiologyVarious kinds of bladder cells can go mutated and become malignant or cancerous.

The treatment of bladder cancer also depends on the grade and depth of invasion the patients have. Today let us discuss about bladder cancer pathophysiology.

Carcinogens like nitrosamines become concentrated and excreted through urine thus exposing them to cells lining the urinary tract.

This malignant transformation in the bladder may arise anywhere in urinary tract from renal calyx to urethral meatus.

Certain genes participating in the chemical detoxification like N-acetyl transferase and glutathione S-transferase M1 plays a main role in development of cancer of the bladder. Loss of tumor suppressor genes p53 and Rb are associated with unfavorable and invasive tumor prognosis.

Stage T1 cancers invade lamina propria but not the bladder muscles. High-grade T1 tumors associated with CIS brings a relatively greater risk for progression and disease recurrence. Tumors are categorized by growth patterns including papillary, mixed or sessile and nodular.

Transitional Cell Carcinoma:

The cells that line the inside of bladder become cancerous. If the bladder is full, transitional cells get expand and if it is empty they get contract. As these harmful cells also exist inside the lining of urethra and uterus, tumors can spread there as well.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma:

This is a malignant neoplasm that is resultant from bladder urothelium and has a squamous phenotype. It happens in the bladder when there is any infection or irritation.


These tumors are most commonly observed in exstrophic bladders. These are mucus secreting glands in the bladder and when they become cancerous it is called adenocarcinomas.

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