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Bladder cancer: Glossary of terms

Here is a selection of terms which are relevant to the diagnosis and treatment of bladder cancer.


  • Extravesical disease :
    This refers to disease that has spread outside the bladder.


  • Cystoscopy :
    This refers to the examination of the bladder by a telescope inserted up the urethra (the tube to the outside world) and into the bladder. The doctor will usually biopsy and attempt to destroy (by burning) any tumour that he can easily see under direct vision.


  • Cystectomy :
    This is the removal of the bladder at a moderate sized operation.


  • Intravesical chemotherapy :
    This refers to the delivery of chemotherapy up a urinary catheter into the bladder which thereby reaches the bladder lining (from which the tumours arise) in high concentration.


  • Angiooinfarction :
    This has not been referred to above but entails the blocking of the artery feeding the kidney thus starving of its blood supply. Although this was used in the 1980’s and claimed to help subsequent surgery and even potentiate the immune response to the tumour by releasing lots of antigen (from the dead cells) into the blood stream, the methodology has not impacted greatly on the survival statistics of the disease and the procedure is uncomfortable and associated with some side effects.

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