BLADDER CANCER is a disease in which malignant (cancerous) cells form in the tissues of the bladder, a hollow organ in the lower part of the abdomen. It is shaped like a small balloon and has a muscular wall that allows it to get larger or smaller.
The bladder stores urine until it is passed out of the body. Urine is the liquid waste that is made by the kidneys when they clean the blood. The urine passes from the two kidneys into the bladder through two tubes called ureters. When the bladder is emptied during urination, the urine goes from the bladder to the outside of the body through another tube called the urethra.
Risk factors for developing bladder cancer include smoking and exposure to certain chemicals in the workplace. People with a family history of bladder cancer or who are older, white, or male are at higher risk.