What is Non-Muscle Invasive Bladder Cancer?

Non-muscle invasive bladder cancer, sometimes called NMIBC, is when the tumor has not grown into the thicker muscle wall of the bladder.  Roughly 70% of bladder cancer is found in the tissue (called urothelial or transitional cells) that line the inside of the bladder. The tumor has not grown into the thicker muscle wall of the bladder. This is known as NMIBC.

How is non-muscle invasive bladder cancer treated?

Non-muscle invasive bladder cancer is usually treated by a Transurethral Resection of the Bladder Tumor (TURBT) to remove the tumor. Once the tumor is removed, your doctor may suggest putting medicine in the bladder to reduce the risk of the cancer returning. That is known as intravesical therapy.

BCG is still the gold standard for NMIBC. BCG is a type of tuberculosis that is given in the bladder through a catheter, and it activates your immune system to attack the abnormal bladder lining. It works well for high grade tumors and carcinoma in situ. Usually, doctors wait to give BCG for about four to six weeks after your bladder biopsy, or TURBT, because the bladder wall needs to be healed.

BCG is usually administered once a week for six weeks. After that six weeks doctors look in the bladder to see if the treatments were effective. If your bladder cancer is still a not muscle invasive, sometimes doctors do an additional six week treatment with BCG.

Podcasts about NMIBC treatment

You can also learn more about the treatment options for all stages of bladder cancer.

What does carcinoma in situ mean?

Carcinoma in situ (CIS) is a cancerous patch of bladder lining, often referred to as a “flat tumor.” The patch may look almost normal or may look red and inflamed. CIS is a type of non muscle-invasive bladder cancer that is of higher grade and increases the risk of recurrence and progression. At diagnosis, approximately 10% of patients with bladder cancer present with CIS.

Webinar: Explanation of Non-muscle Invasive Bladder Cancer

Part 1: Understanding Types and Stages of Non-muscle Invasive Bladder Cancer

Transcript (PDF)

Part 2: Understanding Treatments for Non-muscle Invasive Bladder Cancer

Transcript (PDF)

Part 3: Question and Answer about Non Muscle Invasive Bladder Cancer

Transcript (PDF)

Resources for non-muscle invasive bladder cancer patients

Podcasts with information about NMIBC:

These “Bladder Cancer Matters” podcasts offer additional information about NMIBC:

Webinars with information about NMIBC:

BCAN webinars are online, recorded conversations with medical experts. We offer several Patient Insight Webinars with about information about non-muscle invasive bladder cancer, including:

Survivor to Survivor

The Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network’s (BCAN’s) Survivor to Survivor (S2S) program connects newly diagnosed bladder cancer patients and caregivers with survivors and co-survivors who have gone through similar experiences.

S2S matches bladder cancer patients with trained volunteers who offer a sympathetic ear and share their own experiences as well as insight about their own bladder cancer diagnosis, treatment and survivorship.

Call center for bladder cancer patients and loved ones

A non-muscle invasive bladder cancer diagnosis can be scary, stressful and even expensive. To speak with an oncology social worker who can talk to your about your feelings about your non-muscle invasive bladder cancer diagnosis, call during regular business hours (ET): 833-275-4222.

You can learn more about the free support line here.

Free call center resrouce for bladder cancer patients 1-833-275-4222