Cancer Institute A national cancer institute
designated cancer center

What is Bladder Cancer?

Bladder cancer occurs when there are abnormal, cancerous cells growing in the bladder, a triangle-shaped, hollow organ located in the lower abdomen which stores urine.

According to the American Cancer Society, about 69,250 new cases of bladder were diagnosed in 2011.  Men are about three times more likely to get bladder cancer during their lifetime than women, and Caucasians are more likely to get bladder cancer than African Americans, Hispanics or Asians.

At Stanford, our Genitourinary Urologic Cancer physicians have extensive experience in treating early-stage to rare bladder cancers, and offer advanced treatment options in a supportive environment.


There are several types of bladder cancer, including:

Urethral cancer is a rare cancer that occurs in the cells that line the urethra, the tube through which urine exits the body from the bladder; in women, the urethra measures 1 1/2 inches long and in men, the urethra (passing through the prostate gland and the length of the penis) is about 8 inches long. This disease affects women more often than men.

Anterior urethral cancer is when the cancer is closest to the outside of the body, and posterior urethral cancer is when the cancer is closest to the bladder.

Stanford Medicine Resources:

Footer Links: