Treatment for Bladder Cancer
Treatment for bladder cancer depends on the stage of the cancer, the severity of your symptoms and your overall health.
Stages 0 and I: surgery to remove the tumor and chemotherapy of immunotherapy directly into the bladder.
Stages II and III: radical cystectomy (removal of the bladder); surgery to remove only a part of the bladder, followed by radiation and chemotherapy; chemotherapy to shrink the tumor before surgery; or a combination of chemotherapy and radiation in patients who choose not to have surgery or who are not candidates for surgery.
Stage IV: in most patients, the malignancy has progressed too far for a cure. Chemotherapy may be considered for some patients.
In immunotherapy, a medication is used to trigger your immune system to attack and kill the cancer cells.
Immunotherapy for bladder cancer is usually performed using the Bacille Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccine delivered through a Foley catheter directly into the bladder. If BCG is not effective, patients may receive interferon, a protein made and released by host cells in response to the presence of viruses, bacteria or tumor cells.
Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center offers access to innovative cancer treatments and technologies. Patients who qualify also have the opportunity to participate in clinical trials of treatments that would not otherwise be available to them.
Bladder cancer starts in cells, called transitional cells, which line the bladder. The tumors are classified based on the way they grow:
Although the exact cause of bladder cancer is uncertain, certain things put you at higher risk:
Physicians may use the following tests to confirm a diagnosis of bladder cancer:
Your physician may also order blood tests to help determine the diagnosis, including a complete blood count (CBC), liver function and tumor markers.