Transitional cell cancer is a cancer occurring in the urinary system, i.e., the kidneys, urinary bladder and accessory organs of the urinary system and occurs in the inner tissue lining of these hollow organs. It is one of the most common types of bladder cancer and also one of the most commonly occurring forms of kidney cancer. Transitional cells are called so because they can change their shape and stretch with the organs without breaking apart. Histopathology is one of the only ways of identifying and establishing a diagnosis for transitional cell cancer. It involves extraction of tissue samples from the affected region or part of the body and study of the cell structure under a microscope.

The symptoms of transitional cell cancer may vary greatly depending upon the location of the cancerous cells and the extent to which the infection has spread. Most common symptoms may include blood in urine which may or may not be visible to the naked eye and many times may require microscopic examination. Other symptoms of transitional cell cancer include irregularity in bladder habits and burning sensation during urination without any sign of infection in the urinary tract. It has been observed that tobacco smoking contributes greatly increases the risk of transitional cancer. Exposure to chemicals as experienced by workers in petroleum industry, paints and solvents manufacturing facilities considerably increases the risk of cancer. The risk of cancer is also increased with increase in the time duration between the visits to the washroom as it increases the contact time with the bladder surface and heightens the risk of cancer.

Transitional cell cancer can be quite difficult to treat and is the cancer is localized, removal by surgery is the most proffered option but recurrence of cancer is common. Patients are also administered doses of drugs to control the spread of cancer and to even eradicate cancerous cells. Side effects of some of the drugs may include even tuberculosis amongst other side effects. Chemotherapy is also considered as one of the options while diagnosing and treating transitional cell cancer. All the treatment options are considered after thorough examination of the patient and assessment of the level of spread of cancer in the patient.

Summary: Transitional cell cancer occurs in the urinary system and is one of the main causes of bladder and kidney cancer. Once diagnosed, transitional cell cancer can be treated with chemotherapy and targeted drug administration to the affected parts.