Bladder Cancer

Look to UC San Diego Health for comprehensive bladder cancer care. 

You'll benefit from having a team that has experience diagnosing and treating all types of bladder cancer.

Nationally Ranked Cancer Care

UC San Diego Health is ranked among the top 50 in the nation for cancer care and urology by U.S. News & World Report. We are also the only National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center in San Diego County. This is the highest possible rating for a U.S. cancer center, and it means you’ll receive the best possible care and support. Studies show patient outcomes are better at NCI-designated cancer centers.

What Is Bladder Cancer?

Bladder cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancerous) cells form in the tissues of the bladder. Bladder cancer is one of the most common cancers. Most people with bladder cancer have superficial and noninvasive tumors, which don’t spread to the muscle tissue. Treatment is often very effective.

Bladder Cancer Risk Factors

You may have an increased risk of bladder cancer if you:

  • Smoke
  • Are male
  • Are over the age of 55
  • Have an unhealthy, unbalanced diet

Talk to your doctor about how you can reduce your risk of bladder cancer. Explore our comprehensive cancer prevention, advanced screening and diagnostic services.

Detecting Bladder Cancer

Your UC San Diego Health team uses the most advanced technologies available to detect bladder cancer early and accurately. We’re currently the only health system in the San Diego region using both white light and blue light cystoscopies to carefully examine the lining of your bladder. Blue light cystoscopy can identify lesions that may not be visible to the naked eye and could otherwise be missed. The enhanced imaging technique can help your doctor surgically remove all cancerous tissue and monitor your response to treatment.

In the News: Blue Light Cystoscopy Illuminates Bladder Cancer Detection

Multidisciplinary Urologic Cancer Clinic

Patients with high-risk or metastatic bladder cancer may be referred to our multidisciplinary Urologic Cancer Clinic, which brings some of the best oncologists and urologists in San Diego County to one location, so you can conveniently and quickly access the specialized care you need.

This unique clinic focuses on improving the prognosis and quality of life for people with high-risk, aggressive or metastatic urologic cancers such as bladder cancer.

At our clinic, you may:

  • Discuss treatment options with three cancer specialists — a medical oncologist, urologic surgeon and radiation oncologist — during a single visit
  • Receive a balanced view of treatment options with quality-of-life considerations incorporated into your care plan
  • Receive tests and treatments that meet the highest standards of cancer care, including genetic and molecular evaluations to further personalize care
  • Have faster and more convenient access to cancer care through all stages of treatment
  • Access the most promising, new bladder cancer treatment through participation in a clinical trial
  • Ask your dedicated patient navigator to help you schedule your appointments, scans and consults

Second Opinions

Our cancer clinic is also open to men who have received a cancer diagnosis at another health system and have questions about or are undecided on the next steps. Your doctor may refer you to our clinic or you can self-refer.

How to Get a Second Opinion
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Comprehensive, Personalized Treatments for Bladder Cancer

Find a full range of bladder cancer treatments.

Robotic-Assisted Surgery

At UC San Diego Health, cystectomies and reconstructive surgeries are performed with robotic assistance. Robotic-assist systems allow your surgeon to magnify the surgical field, making it much easier to work around the tiny nerves that affect sexual function.

Follow-Up Care

Bladder cancer recurs in about half of all patients. For this reason, your doctor will recommend comprehensive follow-up care, including regular cystoscopic evaluations for up to two years. 

Urologic Cancer Doctors & Surgeons

At UC San Diego Health, your cancer care is led by a multidisciplinary team of doctors who specialize in your type of cancer.  Highly specialized multidisciplinary care is a hallmark of top-tier academic medical centers such as UC San Diego Health. For patients like you, it means you receive the highest level of care. Find a urologic cancer specialist.

Clinical Trials

Advancing Cancer Care and Prevention

UC San Diego Health physicians are actively researching ways to improve cancer care. By joining a clinical trial, you may receive a new cancer treatment before it is available to the public. If your cancer has not responded to standard therapies, talk to your doctor about whether a clinical trial could be right for you.

Patient & Family Support Services

At UC San Diego Health, your care goes beyond treating disease. It also includes supporting you and your loved ones emotionally throughout your cancer journey. Most of our support services are free.

Browse All Support Services