Diagnosis and staging of bladder cancer

Hematol Oncol Clin North Am. 2015 Apr;29(2):205-18, vii. doi: 10.1016/j.hoc.2014.10.013. Epub 2014 Nov 6.


Bladder cancer (BCa) is a heterogeneous disease with a variable natural history. Most patients (70%) present with superficial tumors (stages Ta, T1, or carcinoma in situ). However, 3 out of 10 patients present with muscle-invasive disease (T2-4) with a high risk of death from distant metastases. Moreover, roughly between 50% and 70% of superficial tumors do recur, and approximately 10% to 20% of them progress to muscle-invasive disease. However, BCa has a relatively low ratio of mortality versus incidence of new cases. In consequence, there is the danger of overdiagnosis and overtreatment.

Keywords: Biomarkers; Bladder cancer; Cystoscopy; Diagnosis; Imaging; Screening; Staging; Urothelial carcinoma of the bladder.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Diagnostic Imaging / methods
  • Early Detection of Cancer / methods
  • Humans
  • Mass Screening / methods
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / pathology
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / therapy


  • Biomarkers, Tumor