Depending upon the stages, grade, and the risk that cancer will recur. ; the treatment and prognosis of bladder cancer vary from individual to individual. After diagnosing Bladder cancer; doctors start to determine the staging of cancer i.e if it has spread and how far it has spread. In order to determine what treatment plan needs to be drawn out and if it will be successful; staging is important.
Based on how far cancer has penetrated into the tissues of the bladder, if cancer has reached nearby organs and distant sites and whether cancer involves lymph nodes near the bladder; the staging of Bladder cancer varies. Depending upon the physical examinations, imaging tests, and biopsies; staging of Bladder Cancer is done.
Understanding the stages of bladder cancer
A system of staging called the TNM; based on three important elements of cancer. has been developed by The American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJJCC).
T indicates the extent to which the (primary) tumor has grown through the walls of the bladder and also determines if it has grown into nearby tissues.
N stipulates if cancer has spread to lymph nodes near the bladder to which cancers often spread first.
M determines if cancer has spread (metastasized) to other organs in distant sites like the lungs or liver, or lymph nodes that are not near the bladder.
Other than TNM staging; in order to determine the spread of cancer; the Number of stages also helps.
In the inner layer of the bladder lining; the cancer is in the origin of its site(stage 0a)
In the inner layer of the bladder lining; there are high-grade cancer cells in the very early stage (stage 0is).
In Stag 1; invasion of connective tissue beneath the bladder lining by cancer starts.
Metastasization of cancer starts through the connective tissue layer into the muscle of the bladder wall.
Spread of cancer beyond the muscle into the fat layer. During this stage; it might spread to the prostate, womb or vagina, or lymph nodes.
Cancer now reaches and spreads in the walls of the abdomen or between the pelvis to other distant parts of the body like the bones, lungs, or liver.