Things to know about the different stages of bladder cancer
The stages of bladder cancer are a standard way for the doctor to describe how far the cancer has spread. This is the most important information that helps the doctor in choosing the best treatment for the case. The most commonly used staging system for bladder cancer is the American Joint Committee on Cancer’s (AJCC) TNM system.
- T – Primary tumor has grown into the bladder wall or nearby tissues.
- N – Cancer has spread to the lymph nodes near the bladder.
- M – Cancer has spread or not to the far sides.
Listed below are the different stages of bladder cancer
- Stage 0a: Stage 0a cancer is a noninvasive papillary carcinoma (Ta). This stage means that cancer has grown towards the hollow center of the bladder.
- Stage 0is: Stage 0is cancer is a flat, non-invasive carcinoma. This stage means that cancer is spreading only in the inside layer of the bladder. This stage also indicates if the cancer has grown in the innermost hollow part of the bladder or not.
- Stage I: Stage I in bladder cancer states that the tumor has grown into the layer of connective tissues under the inside layer of the bladder.
- Stage II: In this stage, cancer grows into the thick muscle layer of the bladder wall. This states that it has not completely passed through the layer of the fatty tissue that surrounds the bladder.
- Stage III: This stage describes that cancer has grown into a layer of fatty tissue. It might also have grown into the prostate, uterus or vagina, but not into the pelvic or abdominal wall.
The stages I, II and III of bladder cancer indicate that the tumor has not spread to the muscle, lymph nodes, distant organs or the connective tissues.
- Stage IV: This stage indicates one of the following:
- Cancer has grown into the bladder wall, pelvic or abdominal wall, but not in the lymph nodes or distant organs.
- Cancer has spread to lymph nodes, but not into distant organs.
- Cancer has spread to the distant lymph nodes and organs like liver or lungs.
The four stages mentioned above in bladder cancer determine the spread and growth of cancer into the bladder as well as human body.