Bladder Cancer

Bladder cancer is a type of cancer that forms in the cells of the bladder, the hollow muscular organ in the lower abdomen that stores urine.

Urothelial carcinoma, or transitional cell carcinoma, is the most common form of bladder cancer and occurs when the urothelial cells that line the bladder grow out of control, resulting in tumors.

Bladder cancer is often detected early due to noticeable symptoms such as blood in the urine or pain during urination.

Specialists in the GW Cancer Center’s Urologic Oncology Program use the newest technology to diagnose and treat bladder cancer based on each patient’s individual needs.

Specialty Care for Bladder Cancer

The urologic oncology specialists at the GW Cancer Center guide you through diagnosis and treatment of bladder cancer. Every patient has different needs so we offer therapies that will result in the best possible outcomes for each individual.

Our program offers a clinic where patients can meet with several specialists in a single visit. Using advanced screening options, our specialists work together to accurately diagnosis the type of bladder cancer. We then create a treatment plan most likely to offer the best results. Treatments may include participation in life-saving clinical trials.

Bladder Cancer Program Information

Collaborative Care

Patient navigators support patients who have been diagnosed with bladder cancer. Navigators steer patients through the process. They even help them with the financial aspects of a cancer diagnosis, such as working with insurers.

We offer a multidisciplinary clinic where patients can conveniently interact with several specialists in one visit. Our team works together to provide an accurate diagnosis and to create the best treatment plan.

Clinical Research

Patients in clinical trials benefit from the latest developments in the field.

GW Cancer Center partners with these organizations to offer clinical trials for patients with bladder cancer:

  • The Genitourinary Multidisciplinary D.C. Regional Oncology Project (GUMDROP)
  • The National Cancer Institute (NCI) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH)
  • The Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG)
Advanced Diagnosis and Treatment

GW Cancer Center offers specialized screening and treatment for bladder cancer.

  • Immunotherapy enhances the body's ability to fight cancer. This safe, new alternative has minimal side effects.
  • For patients whose bladder has been removed, we offer a reconstructive surgical procedure to divert urine out of the body.
  • We offer chemotherapy as a first line of defense for bladder cancer, followed by surgery. This approach offers the best outcomes for patients.
Leading Edge Technology

GW Cancer Center invests in state-of-the-art technologies for cancer diagnosis and treatment:

  • GW was the first to use the da Vinci® robot for minimally invasive cystectomy (bladder removal). We have done more cases using the da Vinci® robot than any other facility in the region.
  • Cysview® Blue Light Cystoscopy increases detection of cancer by using a special dye that can be better seen in cancer cells. This technology is helping to decrease the recurrence rate of cancer by catching recurrent tumors in the earliest stages.
  • Urovysion™ Fluorescence In Situ Hybridization (FISH) gives researchers a way to map an individual’s genetic material with a urine sample. We use this information to determine if cancer-causing genetic problems exist.