Bladder CancerIf you face a diagnosis of bladder cancer, the urology experts at Hackensack Meridian Health are committed to helping you maintain your quality of life while providing the best possible cancer outcome.
With us you’ll find the most advanced bladder cancer treatments, with the latest clinical trials of therapeutics that reduce the need for surgery. If surgery is recommended, our robotic approach is designed to preserve your bladder and urinary function.
You have a whole team behind you, with a treatment plan personalized to best address your bladder cancer.
What is Bladder Cancer?Bladder cancer occurs when cells of the bladder grow too quickly, become cancerous and form tumors. Most bladder cancer is urothelial carcinoma, which starts in the cells in the lining of the bladder and urinary tract, the ureters and urethra.
Types of Bladder Cancer
- Urothelial Carcinoma (90 percent of bladder cancers)
- Squamous Cell Carcinoma
- Small Cell Carcinoma
Bladder cancers are classified according to whether the tumor has grown into the muscle of the bladder wall. This classification determines what kind of treatment will be most effective for you.
- Non-Muscle Invasive: The bladder cancer is found only in the inner lining of the bladder.
- Muscle-Invasive: The bladder cancer has grown into the muscles of the bladder wall and is more likely to spread.
What are the Symptoms of Bladder Cancer?Bladder cancer is typically discovered through symptoms. You should see a urologist if you have one of the following symptoms, which may be a sign of cancer or another bladder condition.
- Blood in your urine, causing your urine to look orange, pink or dark red
- Frequency of urinating increases, including during the night
- Urge to urinate increases, even when your bladder isn’t full
- Pain or burning during urination
- Weak urine stream or trouble urinating
Accurate Diagnosis of Bladder CancerAt Hackensack Meridian Health, you’ll find New Jersey’s most experienced team of urologists, uroradiologists and uropathologists who specialize in diagnosing bladder cancer. You have access to the most advanced diagnostics available. We are one of only two in the state to offer blue light cystoscopy that is proven to better identify cancer and reduce the chance of cancer returning.
Cystoscopy is a common test for bladder cancer. Your urologist uses a cystoscope, which is a long, thin tube with a small video camera, to see the inside of your urinary tract and identify any tumors.
- Flexible Cystoscopy: Performed in a urologist’s office under local anesthesia. We offer the most advanced flexible scope for patient comfort, with high-resolution imaging for the most accuracy. The urologist may take a biopsy of bladder tissue for testing.
- Blue Light Cystoscopy: Performed in the surgical suite during tumor removal. Hackensack Meridian Health is one of only two centers in the state offering this innovative technology proven to reduce cancer progression and recurrence. Cysview makes non-muscle invasive bladder cancer tumors glow bright pink under blue light, allowing urologists to remove cancer cells more completely.
Hackensack Meridian Health offers the most advanced imaging tests for bladder cancer. Our uroradiologists are experienced in identifying tumors and the depth of any tumor invasion of the bladder and urinary tract.
- Advanced CT can
- PET scan
Studies have shown that some forms of bladder cancer are related to a handful of genetic variants. Our uropathologists conduct molecular analysis and germline testing of your bladder cancer tissue. Through a partnership with Genomic Testing Cooperative in Irvine, Calif., a first-of-its-kind genomic profiling laboratory, we can identify your cancer’s molecular make-up and response to the immune system. The resulting genetic tumor profile allows your care team to design a unique treatment plan and identify any immunotherapies for your precise type of bladder cancer.
Your bladder cancer screening includes a thorough analysis of your urine. We offer dedicated uropathologists experienced in laboratory testing for cancer and other conditions of the urinary tract.
- Urine Cytology: Urine is viewed under a microscope to identify any pre-cancer or cancer cells.
- Urinalysis: Urine is tested for traces of blood and other substances that help diagnose cancer or another condition such as kidney stones or urinary tract infection (UTI).
- Urine Culture: Bacteria in a urine sample is allowed to grow to determine if a UTI, not cancer, is causing your symptoms.
Why Choose Hackensack Meridian Health for Bladder Cancer TreatmentPersonalized Care Focused on Preserving Your Bladder
At Hackensack Meridian Health, you’ll find we take an unparalleled, comprehensive approach to bladder cancer care. From the time of diagnosis, we start with the least invasive approach to cure your cancer while sparing your bladder. We explore all possible treatments – and combinations of treatments – to find what works best for you.
You have access to the latest, most innovative bladder cancer treatments at Hackensack Meridian Health, including clinical trials of immunotherapy and other novel agents. If surgery is needed, you’re in good hands with the most experienced urology team for robotic surgery. Our surgeons were the first in the tri-state area to perform minimally invasive robotic bladder surgery and helped pioneer the single-incision approach.
Hackensack University Medical Center has been ranked the #1 Urology Department in New Jersey for six years in a row by U.S. News & World Report and is also the only urology department in New Jersey that is nationally ranked.
Leaders in Bladder Cancer Treatment
Doctors at Hackensack Meridian Health are leaders in the most advanced approaches to bladder cancer treatment.
Our Research and Clinical Trials
A hallmark of the bladder cancer program at Hackensack Meridian Health is our clinical trials program.
Our patients have access to the widest range of bladder cancer clinical trials available in northern New Jersey. This includes exciting new biomarker diagnostics and immunotherapy agents not available elsewhere. Clinical trials provide our patients today with the bladder cancer treatments of tomorrow.
Our award winning team of renowned surgeons, physicians, researchers and other health care specialists are able to provide you with exceptional urological expertise, advancements and cutting-edge technology to develop a highly- personalized plan for each and every one of our patients.