MRI in urinary bladder cancer

Author(s): Dr Rukhtam Saqib, Dr Syahminan Suut

Hospital: Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust

Reference: RAD Magazine, 44, 512, 15-16


In 2014, bladder cancer was the tenth most common cancer in the UK with about 10,100 diagnosed each year. It is the eighth most common cancer in males and 14th in females and is three to four times more common in males. There were 5,369 deaths from bladder cancer in 2014 in the UK with a 10-year survival of 50%. Patients most often present with painless haematuria with other less frequent symptoms including change in bladder habits or symptoms of urinary irritation.

The urinary bladder is extra-peritoneal with the superior surface being covered by peritoneum. There are four layers to the bladder wall; mucosa, submucosa, muscularis and serosa/adventitia. Up to 90% of bladder cancers are transitional cell carcinomas (TCC), 6-8% squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), and rarely adenocarcinoma. Risk factors for TCC include smoking, chemical carcinogens such as aniline dyes, and ionising radiation. Long-term catheterisation, urinary tract calculi, Schistosoma infection and non-functioning bladder are risk factors for SCC.

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