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Transitional cell (urothelial) carcinoma is by far the most common type of bladder cancer. It is also referred to as “transitional cell carcinoma” or just “urothelial carcinoma.” This cancer originates in the urothelial cells that line the inside of the bladder. Because urothelial cells also line other structures in the urinary tract, tumors can also develop in the ureters, urethra and parts of the kidney.

What are the symptoms of transitional cell (urothelial) carcinoma?

The signs of transitional cell (urothelial) carcinoma can differ from person to person. Some people may not notice any unusual symptoms, while others may experience:

  • Blood in the urine (hematuria)
  • Pain or a burning sensation during urination
  • Frequent urination, or a frequent urge to urinate but an inability to do so
  • Pain in the lower back or pelvis

It is important to note that these symptoms are shared by several noncancerous conditions. If you are experiencing any symptoms that concern you, be sure to promptly speak with a physician.

How is transitional cell (urothelial) carcinoma treated?

The details of a patient’s transitional cell (urothelial) carcinoma treatment plan will vary according to many factors, such as his or her age, overall health and the cellular makeup of the cancer. Many treatment plans include a combination of surgery to remove cancerous tissue or the bladder itself, as well as radiation therapy to shrink tumors or intravesical therapy that delivers cancer-fighting medication directly into the bladder.

Moffitt Cancer Center’s Urologic Oncology Program includes a multispecialty team that focuses exclusively on bladder cancers. Our experts collaborate to create individualized treatment plans and provide compassionate supportive care services to achieve the best possible outcomes and a better quality of life. A leader in research, Moffitt also spearheads an ambitious clinical trials program that allows eligible patients to receive breakthrough bladder cancer treatments, such as immunotherapies and biological therapies.

Contact Moffitt at 1-888-663-3488 or submit a new patient registration form online to speak with a Moffitt oncologist specializing in transitional cell (urothelial) carcinoma about your treatment options. We welcome patients with or without referrals.