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Most survivors of childhood cancer do not experience problems with their urinary bladder as a result of their treatment. But certain types of cancer and cancer treatments can damage the bladder. One condition that can result is neurogenic bladder.
A neurogenic bladder is an abnormal function of the bladder caused by damage to the nerves that control the bladder’s function. It can cause the bladder to be underactive (not emptying completely) or overactive (emptying too frequently or quickly). People with neurogenic bladders also have a higher risk of urinary tract infections (UTIs) and kidney damage.
The urinary bladder is an organ that stores urine. The kidneys filter the blood and make urine. It enters the bladder through 2 tubes called ureters. The urine leaves the bladder through the urethra.
If neurogenic bladder is suspected, survivors should have an evaluation by a urologist. A urologist is a physician who specializes in disorders of the urinary tract. The urologist will order tests to determine how well the bladder can store and empty urine. These tests include a voiding cystourethrogram (VCUG) or bladder cystometry (a test that measures the pressure inside of the bladder to see how well the bladder is working).
Treatment depends on the person’s medical needs.
Call your health care provider if:
Reviewed: June 2018