Cancer Research UK on Google+ Cancer Research UK on Facebook Cancer Research UK on Twitter

What is advanced bladder cancer?

Men and women discussing bladder cancer

This page tells you about advanced bladder cancer. You can find information about

 

A quick guide to what's on this page

What is advanced bladder cancer?

Advanced bladder cancer means the cancer has spread to another part of the body from where it started in the bladder. Your cancer may be advanced when it is first diagnosed. Or it may have come back some time after you were first treated. This is called recurrent cancer. Not all bladder cancers will spread or come back.

Where does bladder cancer spread?

The cancer may grow into areas near your bladder, such as the ureters, urethra, prostate or vagina. This is called local spread. Cancer that has spread to a different part of the body is called secondary cancer. Bladder cancer is most likely to spread to the lymph nodes in the pelvis, abdomen or neck, or to the lungs, the liver or the bones.

Symptoms of cancer spread

These will depend on where the cancer has spread to. A common symptom of cancer spread is weight loss. Other symptoms can include swollen legs, pain in your bones or tummy (abdomen), lumps in your abdomen or neck, or yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice). Some people feel increasingly tired when their cancer has spread. Some people have no symptoms from bladder cancer spread.

Remember that you may have symptoms caused by conditions other than cancer, such as coughs, colds or back pain. But do check with your doctor or specialist nurse if a symptom is worrying you or continues for more than a few days.

 

CR PDF Icon You can view and print the quick guides for all the pages in the Treating bladder cancer section.

 

 

What advanced bladder cancer is

Advanced bladder cancer means the cancer has spread from where it started in the bladder to another part of the body. Your cancer may be advanced when it is first diagnosed. Or it may have come back some time after you were first treated. This is called recurrent cancer.

The cancer can spread into structures close to the bladder, such as the ureters, urethra, prostate or vagina or into the pelvis. This is called local spread. Cancer that has spread to another part of the body is called a secondary cancer or metastasis. We have information about coping with advanced cancer.

 

Where bladder cancer can spread to

Not all bladder cancers will spread. If bladder cancer does spread, it is most likely to spread to the

Click on the links to find out more about secondary cancers.

 

Symptoms of advanced bladder cancer

The symptoms of advanced bladder cancer depend on which part of the body the cancer has spread to. A common symptom is weight loss. Other symptoms can include

  • Swollen legs
  • Pain in your bones
  • Pain in your tummy (abdomen)
  • Lumps in your abdomen or neck
  • Yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes (jaundice)

Some people feel increasingly tired when their cancer has spread. But do bear in mind there are lots of reasons for feeling tired.

Remember that from time to time, you are likely to have aches and pains, and days when you don't feel very good, that are not related to your cancer. But you may worry that they are due to the cancer or its treatment. Do check with your doctor or specialist nurse about any symptom that is worrying you. They will be able to reassure you. If the symptoms are due to the cancer, they can give you some treatment to help you feel better.

Rate this page:
Submit rating

 

Rated 4 out of 5 based on 33 votes
Rate this page
Rate this page for no comments box
Please enter feedback to continue submitting
Send feedback
Question about cancer? Contact our information nurse team

No Error

Updated: 24 October 2013