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What Is Squamous Cell Bladder Cancer?

Squamous cell bladder cancer is a malignancy that can develop as a result of chronic irritation and swelling in the lining of the bladder. When chronic irritation occurs, the normally long and thin transitional cells that line the bladder can gradually change to squamous cells, which are flat and scale-like. The squamous cells can become cancerous over time, particularly with exposure to irritants or carcinogens.

Squamous cell bladder cancer is uncommon in the United States and other Western countries, accounting for approximately only 3 to 7 percent of all cases of bladder cancer. However, squamous cell bladder cancer is found more frequently in parts of the world where schistosomiasis (a parasitic infection) commonly causes bladder infections.

Symptoms of squamous cell bladder cancer

The symptoms of squamous cell bladder cancer are similar to those of other types of bladder cancer. These may include:

  • Blood in the urine (hematuria)
  • Frequent urination
  • Pain or burning during urination
  • Feeling a need to urinate but being unable to do so
  • Pain in the lower back or pelvic area

The physicians at Moffitt Cancer Center treat many patients with bladder cancer. Because Moffitt is a high-volume cancer center, the multispecialty team in our Genitourinary Oncology Program is highly experienced in treating all forms of bladder cancer, including uncommon types such as squamous cell bladder cancer. As a National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, we are committed to performing research to advance the treatment of squamous cell bladder cancer, and our individualized treatment plans help our patients achieve the best possible outcome and an improved quality of life.

If you have been diagnosed with squamous cell bladder cancer, we invite you to explore your treatment options at Moffitt. Call 1-888-663-3488 or fill out a new patient registration form online to request an appointment. You do not need a referral to come to Moffitt.