What Do Different Bladder Cancer Stages Mean?

Q: I was diagnosed with bladder cancer last week. The doctor said that the cancer had spread into my lymph nodes. It sounds serious. On which bladder cancer stage am I now? Will it develop into a more severe stage?

A: Generally there are two basic stages of bladder cancer. One is clinical stage, and the other is pathological stage. On the clinical stage, your doctor gives you opinion about how to treat the cancer according to your test results. On the pathologic stage, the doctor offers advice about how far your cancer has developed into after the surgery to remove the cancer.

To be specific, bladder cancer can be divided into three stages – T (Tumor) stage, N (Nymph Nodes) stage, and M (Metastasized) stage. On which stage the cancer has got is determined by how far it has spread. If the cancer has spread into tissues near the bladder, it is on T stage. If it has spread into lymph nodes near the bladder, it is on N stage. And if into organs and lymph nodes far from the bladder, it is on M stage.

After the doctor determines on which above stage your cancer is, he will use numbers from 0 to IV to make you understand your own condition better.

Stage 0: The cancer is restricted in the center of your bladder.

Stage I: The cancer grows onto the edge of your bladder, but has not broken through it yet.

Stage II: The cancer has spread into nearby tissues.

Stage III: The cancer can be found in your uterus, prostate, or vagina.

Stage IV: The cancer has spread into your abdominal wall, nearby lymph nodes, or distant organs.



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* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.