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Bladder cancer almost always starts in the lining of the bladder with the uncontrollable growth of urothelial cells. Occasionally, it can also form in other areas of the urinary tract (e.g., renal pelvis, ureter or urethra) that are lined with these same cells. When detected and treated early, bladder cancer can be cured the majority of the time. If a tumor becomes invasive — growing into the bladder’s muscle wall and even spreading to other organs — surgery to remove the bladder is usually required.

Bladder Cancer: The Basics


Specialists at the Johns Hopkins Greenberg Bladder Cancer Institute (GBCI) outline a basic overview of the functions of the bladder, and the different types of cancer that can affect the bladder. Learn about symptoms and risk factors for the disease, and how the GBCI’s multi-disciplinary clinical approach is moving research forward.

Bladder Cancer: What You Need to Know

  • Researchers are finding ways to use genetic sequencing information from a patient’s tumor to choose and design better immunotherapy, targeted therapy, radiation and surgical techniques to improve outcomes of this often-overlooked disease.
  • At the Johns Hopkins Greenberg Bladder Cancer Institute, the field’s leading minds take a team approach to patient care in the laboratory and in the Multi-Disciplinary Clinic. Our collaborative team consists of clinician-scientists from urology, urologic surgery, medical oncology, radiation oncology, radiology, pathology and laboratory-based researchers in the JHGBCI Laboratories.
  • Meaningful discoveries that translate findings from our laboratories to our clinics are happening here at the Johns Hopkins Greenberg Bladder Cancer Institute. 

Bladder Cancer | Q&A

Surgeon, Armine Smith, from the Brady Urological Institute answers questions about bladder cancer, diagnosis and treatment options available. At the Greenberg Bladder Cancer Institute, cancer specialists work together to provide patients with expert care in radiation oncology, urologic surgery, medical oncology, radiology, pathology and research. These leading minds in cancer discuss each patient's case in detail to create a custom, groundbreaking treatment plan.


Patient Resources

Learn more about bladder cancer diagnosis and treatment in our health library.

Read about current and on-the-horizon treatment options at Johns Hopkins.

Discover what makes our approach to care so unique.

Get an in-depth look at current bladder cancer research efforts.

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