What is transitional (urothelial) cell carcinoma (TCC) bladder cancer?

Updated: Feb 23, 2021
  • Author: Kara N Babaian, MD, FACS; Chief Editor: Bradley Fields Schwartz, DO, FACS  more...
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In North America, South America, Europe, and Asia, the most common type of urothelial tumor diagnosed is transitional (urothelial) cell carcinoma (TCC); it constitutes more than 90% of bladder cancers in those regions. TCC can arise anywhere in the urinary tract, including the renal pelvis, ureter, bladder, and urethra, but it is usually found in the urinary bladder. Carcinoma in situ (CIS) is frequently found in association with high-grade or extensive TCC. (See the image below.)

Bladder cancer. The classic appearance of carcinom Bladder cancer. The classic appearance of carcinoma in situ is as a flat, velvety patch. However, using special staining techniques such as 5-aminolevulinic acid, it has been shown that significant areas of carcinoma in situ are easily overlooked by conventional cystoscopy. Courtesy of Abbott and Vysis Inc.

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