Urology Surgery Center logo

Bladder Cancer

Urologists located in Spokane, WA

Bladder Cancer

More than 80,000 people in the United States develop bladder cancer every year. At the Urology Surgery Center Northwest in Spokane, Washington, the area’s foremost urological disease experts offer comprehensive bladder cancer care, from diagnosis to state-of-the-art treatments. Schedule your appointment today using the online feature or call the office to book your visit with a bladder cancer expert.

What is bladder cancer?

Bladder cancer develops when cells in the bladder, the hollow organ that holds urine,  multiply abnormally fast. Of these many types of bladder cancer, the most common is urothelial carcinoma, which starts in the cells lining the bladder.


Urothelial cells also line the kidneys and ureters (the tubes that move urine from the kidneys to the bladder). But urothelial carcinoma is much less common in those areas.

What are the symptoms of bladder cancer?

Bladder cancer causes symptoms like:


  • Blood in your urine, which might not be visible to the naked eye
  • Increased urinary frequency
  • Painful urination
  • Lower back pain on one side of your body
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weakness
  • Foot swelling
  • Difficulty urinating


Some of these symptoms are common in other conditions, like benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Other types of cancer, including prostate cancer, can cause similar symptoms. If you have any of these symptoms, book an exam at the Urology Surgery Center Northwest as soon as possible.

How is bladder cancer diagnosed?

No routine screening tests for bladder cancer, so it’s important to report new symptoms promptly. The Urology Surgery Center Northwest uses the most advanced methods of bladder cancer detection and diagnosis, including:


  • Cystoscopy (internal bladder exam)
  • Biopsy (bladder cell sample testing)
  • Urine cytology (checking a urine sample for cancer cells)
  • Advanced imaging (CT urogram, MRI, ultrasound, other procedures)


In some cases, you’ll need other tests, for example, a chest X-ray, to determine if bladder cancer moved into your lungs.

How is bladder cancer treated?

Treating bladder cancer varies with the individual patient. The number of cancer cells and whether the cancer has spread play important roles in treatment decision-making. Treatments include:


  • Surgery to remove the tumor
  • Partial or complete bladder removal
  • Intravesical chemotherapy
  • Radiation
  • Immunotherapy


Many patients combine bladder cancer treatments. For example, you might need surgery alongside chemotherapy to maximize the chances of a cure.


Bladder cancer treatment is a highly personal choice. The Urology Surgery Center Northwest specialists take the time to explain all your options and support you as you decide what’s best for your life.


Schedule your appointment online now or call the Urology Surgery Center Northwest to arrange your visit with a bladder cancer specialist.