Bladder cancer treatment
Bladder cancer treatment depends on the stage (whether superficial or invasive) and type of the disease, the grade of the tumour (how aggressive the cells look under the microscope) as well as the patient's age and overall health. It may be classed as radical - aiming to cure or palliative - aiming to control symptoms. Bladder cancer treatment often in combination include:-
Local resection - removal of the affected part via a cystoscope
Immunotherapy - injected via a catheter directly into the bladder, eg. intravesicle BCG
Local chemotherapy - the anticancer drug is injected via a catheter directly into the bladder, these drugs affect malignant cells only within the organ, eg. intravesicle mitomycin-c
General surgery - partial or radical cystectomy (removal of either a part or the whole organ respectively) via an incision through the abdomen, radical cystectomy is followed by reconstructive surgery to create an alternative way to store and remove urine from the body
Radiation therapy - localised treatment in the area of the abdomen and pelvis which uses high-energy radiation from x-rays to kill malignant cells and shrink tumours
Systemic chemotherapy -the use of anticancer drugs which are injected into a vein in the arm or given by mouth. Systemic chemotherapy is not confined to a particular organ only. It aims to treat the whole 'system' (body). These medicines can attack malignant cells which have already spread to lymph nodes or other organs.
Further general information Your doctors and specialist nurses are in an ideal position to give you relevant information on your disease and treatment as they know your individual circumstances. Cancerbackup has a help line (0808 800 1234) and a prize winning video available in English, Italian, Urdu, Bengali, Gujarati & Hindi explaining Radiotherapy & Chemotherapy. Cancernet.co.uk has over 500 pages describing cancer, its management, practical tips and tool which patients, their carers and their doctors have found helpful during the cancer journey.