Hearing your doctor say that you have advanced urothelial carcinoma (or advanced bladder cancer) can bring about a lot of emotions. It can be helpful to have a better understanding of what bladder cancer is.

What is bladder cancer?

Bladder cancer occurs when the cells in your bladder start to grow unusually or uncontrollably. The most common type of bladder cancer is called urothelial carcinoma, in which unusual growth takes place on the inside lining (urothelium) of the bladder.

As the disease progresses, it may spread to the areas around your bladder, or to other parts of your body. This is called advanced bladder cancer, or metastatic urothelial carcinoma.

What are some bladder cancer symptoms?

Common signs and symptoms of bladder cancer may include:

  • Blood in urine
  • Having to urinate more often than usual
  • Pain or burning when urinating
  • Having trouble urinating

Advanced bladder cancer can cause other symptoms, which may include:

  • Being unable to urinate
  • Lower back pain on one side
  • Loss of appetite and weight loss
  • Feeling tired or weak
  • Swelling in the feet
  • Bone pain

Experiencing these symptoms does not necessarily mean you have bladder cancer. However, it is very important to talk to your healthcare team if you experience any of these symptoms. Your healthcare team has the knowledge and the tools needed to make the appropriate diagnosis.

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