Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Bladder Cancer Health Center

Font Size

Stage Information

Prognosis is determined both by the anatomical location of the neoplasm, the size, and the depth of invasion of the primary tumor. The histology of the primary tumor is of less importance in determining response to therapy and survival.[1]

Anterior Urethral Cancer

Recommended Related to Bladder Cancer

Understanding Bladder Cancer -- Symptoms

  In its early stages, bladder cancer may not have obvious symptoms. In the later stages, symptoms of bladder cancer may include: Bloody urine, most often painless, is the most common symptom. The urine color ranges from faintly rusty to deep red, sometimes containing blood clots. Blood traces, invisible to the naked eye, may show up in tests of urine samples. Frequent urinary tract infections, painful urination, a need to urinate often, and difficulty holding in urine. Weight loss...

Read the Understanding Bladder Cancer -- Symptoms article > >

These lesions are often superficial.

  • Female: Meatal and/or distal urethral cancer (i.e., the lesions of the distal third of the urethra).
  • Male: Penile or anterior portion of the urethra, including the meatus and pendulous urethra.

Posterior Urethral Cancer

These lesions are often deeply invasive.

  • Female: Entire urethral cancer; lesions not clearly limited to the distal third of the urethra.
  • Male: Bulbomembranous and prostatic urethral cancer.

Urethral Cancer Associated with Invasive Bladder Cancer

Approximately 10% of patients with cystectomy for bladder cancer can be expected to have or develop urethral cancer distal to the urogenital diaphragm.

The 5-year survival associated with urethral cancer is most often determined by the stage.

Stage Definitions by Depth of Invasion

  • Stage 0 (Tis, Ta): Limited to mucosa.
  • Stage A (T1): Submucosal invasion.
  • Stage B (T2): Infiltrating periurethral muscle or corpus spongiosum.
  • Stage C (T3): Infiltration beyond periurethral tissue.
    • Female: Vagina, labia, muscle
    • Male: Corpus cavernosum, muscle
  • Stage D1 (N+): Regional nodes; pelvic and inguinal.
  • Stage D2 (N+, M+): Distant nodes; visceral metastases.


  1. Grigsby PW, Corn BW: Localized urethral tumors in women: indications for conservative versus exenterative therapies. J Urol 147 (6): 1516-20, 1992.

WebMD Public Information from the National Cancer Institute

Last Updated: October 07, 2011
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

Today on WebMD

Integrative Medicine Cancer Quiz
what is your cancer risk
cancer fighting foods
Bladder Cancer Why More Men May Be At Risk
Lifestyle Tips for Depression Slideshow
Bladder Sparing Cancer Treatment
Vitamin D
Pets Improve Your Health

WebMD Special Sections