Bladder cancer is characterised by rapid growth of the epithelial cells in the bladder. It is three times more common in men than women and mainly affects people over the age of 60. Smoking is the main cause of the disease. There are usually no symptoms in the early stages of bladder cancer. If symptoms are present, they generally take the form of blood in the urine, the need to pass urine frequently and pain when passing urine. The prognosis and chances of survival depend to a large extent on the stage of the disease.