Bladder Cancer during Pregnancy: A Review of the Literature

J Pers Med. 2023 Sep 21;13(9):1418. doi: 10.3390/jpm13091418.


Bladder malignancy represents the fourth most common cancer in men and the eighth in women in the western world. Women under 75 years of age have a risk of 0.5-1% of developing bladder cancer. The diagnosis usually occurs between 65 and 70 years of age, whereas the mortality rate for women varies from 0.5 to 4 per 100,000 every year. Nulliparous women present a greater risk than women who have given birth. The risk is further decreased when parity increases. Theoretically, hormonal changes occurring during pregnancy play a protective role. Smoking and occupational exposure to specific chemicals are the most common risk factors of bladder cancer. Other risk factors such as chronic urinary tract inflammation, cyclophosphamide, radiotherapy, and familial correlation have been reported. The aim of this review is to highlight a rare combination, which is the co-existence of bladder malignancy and pregnancy. We present thirteen different cases of women who were diagnosed with malignant bladder tumors during their pregnancy. A review of the literature was conducted, focusing on the unspecific symptoms, possible diagnostic tools, and suitable treatment modalities. The management of bladder cancer in pregnancy is a challenging process. The fragile balance between the possible complications of pregnancy and maternal health is yet to be discussed.

Keywords: bladder cancer; cancer treatment; maternal–fetal health; pregnancy; prognosis.

Publication types

  • Review

Grants and funding

This research received no external funding.