Bladder Cancer- Cancer Stage and Cancer Grade 

Once cancer has been diagnosed, the cancer stage and grade must be determined. These two factors will help determine the best treatment for the cancer. The cancer stage will show how deep the cancer has grown and whether it has spread. The cancer grade will show what the cancer cells look like.


As cancer cells multiply, the tumor grows. Bladder cancer begins in the lining of the bladder, and often doesn't grow beyond that layer. As the tumor gets larger, it may invade (grow into)deeper layers of the bladder. It may also invade nearby organs, such as the prostate in men or the uterus in women. Cells can break off from the main tumor and enter the blood stream or lymph nodes. Blood or lymph then carries the cells to other areas of the body, such as the bones, liver or lungs, where a new growth may form. theis process is called metastasis. The stage of cancer is based on where the cancer is and how much it has grown and spread. The stage is found by looking inside the bladder during cystoscopy and using test that show images of the bladder, the areas around it, and parts of the body that the cancer may spread to.

Superficial Stage Invasive Stage Metastatic Stage
The tumor is confined to the bladder lining and submucosal layer of the bladder. The tumor has begun to grow into the muscle or fat layers of the bladder. The cancer cells from the main tumor have spread to other areas of the body.

superficial stage of bladder cancer

invasive stage of bladder cancer

metastatic stage of bladder cancer


The grade of the bladder cancer is found by looking at cancer cells under a microscope. The grade is based on what the cancer cells look like and how many cells are multiplying. The higher the grade, the more uneven the cells are and the more the cells are multiplying. Knowing the grade can predict how fast the cancer will grow and spread.

Low Grade Middle Grade High Grade
Low grade looks almost normal. Only a few of the cells are multiplying. Middle grade cells are uneven in shape and size varies. More cells are multiplying. High grade are very uneven and almost all the cells are multiplying.

low grade of bladder cancer

middle grade of bladder cancer

high grade of bladder cancer