What are the stages of bladder cancer?

Updated: Nov 27, 2016
  • Author: Michael Christopher Large, MD; Chief Editor: Bradley Fields Schwartz, DO, FACS  more...
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Answer

Upon diagnosis of bladder cancer, accurately staging the cancer is essential for instituting appropriate therapy.

Table 1. Staging of Bladder Cancer (Open Table in a new window)

Disease Type

Stage

Characteristics

Superficial disease

Ta

Confined to mucosa

T1

Involving lamina propria and muscularis mucosa

CIS

Malignant cells still confined to the flat urothelial layer

Muscle-invasive disease

T2

Invasion of muscularis propria

T3

Extension into perivesical fat

T4

Invasion of pelvic sidewall or adjacent organs or metastatic disease

Lymph node stages include the following:

  • NX - Unknown lymph node status

  • N0 - No lymph node involvement

  • N1 - A single lymph node in the true pelvis

  • N2 - Two or more lymph nodes in the true pelvis

  • N3 - Lymph nodes along the common iliac artery or beyond


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