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Bladder Cancer

  • Posted: 08/30/2010

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The Bladder

Your bladder is a hollow organ in the lower abdomen. It stores urine, the liquid waste made by the kidneys.

Your bladder is part of the urinary tract. Urine passes from each kidney into the bladder through a long tube called a ureter. Urine leaves the bladder through a shorter tube (the urethra).

The wall of the bladder has layers of tissue:

  • Inner layer: The inner layer of tissue is also called the lining. As your bladder fills up with urine, the transitional cells on the surface stretch. When you empty your bladder, these cells shrink.
  • Middle layer: The middle layer is muscle tissue. When you empty your bladder, the muscle layer in the bladder wall squeezes the urine out of your body.
  • Outer layer: The outer layer covers the bladder. It has fat, fibrous tissue, and blood vessels.
This picture shows the bladder and nearby organs in a man

This picture shows the bladder and nearby organs in a man.

This picture shows the bladder and nearby organs in a woman.

This picture shows the bladder and nearby organs in a woman.

This text may be reproduced or reused freely. Please credit the National Cancer Institute as the source. Any graphics may be owned by the artist or publisher who created them, and permission may be needed for their reuse.