You’ve just learned that you or a loved one has bladder cancer. It’s natural for you to be upset, depressed, panicked and overwhelmed. Know you are not alone and that there are people out there to help you.
Facts About Bladder Cancer
- Smoking is the greatest risk factor. Smokers get bladder cancer twice as often as people who don’t smoke.
- The risk of bladder cancer increases as you get older.
- Caucasians are twice as likely to develop bladder cancer as are African Americans or Hispanics. Asians have the lowest rate of bladder cancer.
- People who have had bladder cancer have a higher chance of getting another tumor. People whose family members have had bladder cancer may also have a higher risk.
- Urinary infections, kidney stones and bladder stones don’t cause bladder cancer, but they have been linked to it.
- According to a report published by the National Cancer Institute, the survival rate for women with bladder cancer lags behind that of men at all stages of the disease.
- Bladder cancer has the highest recurrence rate of any form of cancer; between 50-80 percent.
Get the brochure “Bladder Cancer Basics for the Newly Diagnosed.”
Transurethral Resection (TUR) with fulguration:
Generally, after the diagnosis of a bladder tumor, the urologist will suggest that the patient have an outpatient procedure in the hospital to examine the bladder more completely under anesthesia (general or spinal) and to remove, if possible, those tumors which are suitable for resection. The doctor may refer to this procedure as a TURBT (transurethral resection of a bladder tumor).
Surgery to remove the bladder and any lymph nodes and nearby organs that contain cancer. This surgery may be done when the bladder cancer invades the muscle wall, or when superficial cancer involves a large part of the bladder. In men, the nearby organs that are removed are the prostate and the seminal vesicles.
Surgery to remove part of the bladder. This surgery may be done for patients who have a low-grade tumor that has invaded the wall of the bladder but is limited to one area of the bladder. Because only a part of the bladder is removed, patients are able to urinate normally after recovering from this surgery.
Radiation therapy is a cancer treatment that uses high-energy x-rays or other types of radiation to kill cancer cells or keep them from growing. There are two types of radiation therapy. External radiation therapy uses a machine outside the body to send radiation toward the cancer. Internal radiation therapy uses a radioactive substance sealed in needles, seeds, wires, or catheters that are placed directly into or near the cancer. The way the radiation therapy is given depends on the type and stage of the cancer being treated.
Certain types of bladder tumors are hard to remove using surgical procedures like a TURBT, particularly flat tumors (carcinoma in situ). In addition, some tumors may be likely to recur after initial resection. In these cases, special medications that destroy cancer cells may be placed directly into the bladder. This treatment is called intravesical therapy.
There are two principal drugs that are used as intravesical chemotherapy orimmunotherapy:
Bacille Calmette-Guerin (BCG)
Oregon Urology Foundation
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