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Bladder cancer is an abnormal and unregulated growth of the cells that make up the urinary bladder.

The urinary bladder is a hollow, muscular organ located in the pelvic cavity. In females, it is in front of the vagina. In males, it is in front of the rectum. The bladder stores urine produced by the kidneys. Urine from each kidney travel down the ureters and into the bladder. This urine is stored in the bladder until it is discharged from the body.

The Bladder  
The bladder

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A bladder tumor grows when cells of the bladder become cancerous. These cancer cells begin to divide and multiply more quickly than normal cells. Cancer cells cannot organize themselves in a normal way, and have the capability to invade other normal tissue.

There are two major types of bladder cancer: papillary and nonpapillary. A papillary bladder tumor is a warty growth that is attached to the bladder by a stalk. A nonpapillary bladder tumor lies flat against the bladder tissue itself, and has the potential to be more serious. The majority of bladder tumors are papillary.