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What is a Bladder Mass?

By Erin J. Hill
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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A bladder mass is any large lump, tumor, or cyst that is found on the bladder or in the immediate area. The mass may be noticed after symptoms arise or during a pelvic exam regarding another condition. Not all instances of a bladder mass indicate cancer, but since it is a risk, a biopsy may be performed. In some cases a mass may be detected during certain urine tests.

One type of mass is a cyst. In most cases, a bladder cyst is not cause for alarm unless it is blocking urine flow or causing extreme pain. These cases may require surgery to remove the mass, or the underlying cause of the cyst’s development may need to be determined to cause it to shrink or go away entirely.

The other major type of mass is bladder cancer. Bladder cancer is much more common in men than in women, but it is a leading type of cancer diagnosis for both sexes. If cancer is suspected once a mass is found, additional tests may be done to determine if the mass is malignant or benign. Malignant tumors are those that are determined to be cancerous, and additional treatment will be necessary.

Most patients who are diagnosed with a cancer-related bladder mass have a good chance of being cured. Bladder cancers tend to be slow-growing and rarely cause life-threatening symptoms, such as the spreading of cells to other organs. This does not mean that treatment isn’t necessary. Chemotherapy and radiation may be used alone or in combination, and sometimes surgery will be needed to remove the mass. These treatments are generally offered for more advanced cancers.

If the mass is caught early, Bacillus Calmette-Guerin Immunotherapy may be used instead of traditional cancer therapies. This substance is inserted directly into the bladder. Once there, it causes inflammation while killing tumor cells. It also helps prevent additional cancer cells from forming. This treatment is most effective when used in stage one or two cancers, or cancers that have not spread beyond the bladder.

Symptoms of a bladder mass may include stomach pain, urinary symptoms like urgency or an inability to urinate, or bloody urine. These symptoms rarely indicate a mass, but should be checked by a doctor to rule out this or other medical causes. If a mass is suspected, an ultrasound, X-ray, or other tests will be performed to confirm the diagnosis.

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Discussion Comments

By anon309744 — On Dec 18, 2012

I'm so afraid right now because cancer runs in my family and I was told that I also have a mass on my bladder.

I have a doctor's appointment today and I don't know what to expect from this. I have not had any symptoms or anything. I went to the doctor for one thing and they discovered this mass. I'm hoping for the best. I'm just scared and pray that it's not a form of cancer.

By anon290047 — On Sep 07, 2012

Get it checked. My sister died of bladder cancer at the age of 52. This was not helped by the delay in being properly diagnosed and being told it was the menopause, etc. By the time they confirmed it all, it was sadly too late to deal with. She only had the chance to delay it for weeks then it reached her bones and blood then she died. It was totally unnecessary as far as we can tell, since most bladder cancers can be cured.

By anon240353 — On Jan 13, 2012

I recently had a transabdominal and transvaginal test done. Results were a bladder mass. I have been referred to urology. The medical doctors have not told me how bad it is. They only say that we are holding off all other tests because what you have can kill you faster than the next text.

I am not stupid but I cannot stand when someone who knows something and holds back information. I understand it is not their specialty. But I have to sit and wait another week before I go to Urology and all I can do is think and look online to see what is the next is other than seeing the urologist. I am scared. I would have appreciated a little more information. How big is it? How serious?

I have been having seizures. Never had them before. Not your typical tongue biting seizure. I feel like I am in the dark. I have a lot pain and the constant feeling to urinate. This has been for over three years. I am always tired and have lower back pain. They do tell me all my blood tests come back with malnutrition. lacking all vitamins. But we hardly have any food.

By anon195287 — On Jul 11, 2011

These articles were very helpful. I know I have a bladder mass since I had my baby, who was breech. She also weighed over 10 pounds at birth!

I have never had any problems until she turned around in the womb and became breech. Immediately, I began to have bladder issues. I am under the care of a urologist who performed a biopsy two weeks ago. I am still waiting on the test results. I hope this can be resolved soon because I am in so much pain.

By mantra — On May 14, 2011

It sounds like the symptoms of bladder masses and bladder tumors are the same. At least the symptoms are usually from some other ailment. I agree with the article that these symptoms should be checked out by a doctor.

By Andras — On May 12, 2011

@andromeda - Sorry to hear you've been feeling under the weather. My sister is a doctor, and according to her there are a ton of different things that can cause bladder pain -- endometriosis, cystitis, diverticulitis, Crohn's, and inflammatory bowel disease just to name a few -- so you may not need to worry about having a mass.

However, if you are having pain like that you should definitely see a doctor!

By andromeda — On May 10, 2011

Hi - I was wondering if somebody could give me some advice on this topic. I have recently been having a lot of bladder pain, and I think that it might be because of a bladder mass. I feel like I have to use the restroom a lot, (I'm not pregnant or anything), and I often feel pain in my lower abdomen.

The other day I was feeling my stomach and it felt like there could be a lump in my bladder area, which is what makes me so worried. Do you think this could be a bladder mass?

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