Bladder Cancer Treatment
If your doctor has diagnosed you with bladder cancer or if you think you might have the disease, you likely have many questions about your treatment options. Choosing the bladder cancer treatment that's right for you is a big decision.
Fortunately, patients can receive bladder cancer treatment at any stage. Let's take a look at the four main types of treatment available for patients with bladder cancer.
1. Surgical Treatments
One of the first options your care team might recommend for bladder cancer is surgery. Doctors use three types of surgical treatments to help patients with bladder cancer:
- TURBT: Transurethral resection of bladder tumor, or TURBT, treats early-stage bladder cancer by removing cancer cells from inside your bladder. In this procedure, an instrument called a resectoscope is inserted into the bladder through the urethra. Your doctor will use this instrument to remove any visible cancer tissue.
- Partial cystectomy: If your cancer is too advanced for TURBT but still contained within a single part of the bladder, you might benefit from a partial cystectomy where only the affected portion of the bladder is removed.
- Radical cystectomy: If your bladder cancer has spread to multiple parts of the bladder, your treatment team may recommend a radical cystectomy. This procedure removes the entire bladder, as well as some surrounding organs and nearby lymph nodes, to prevent cancer from spreading.
If you choose surgery to treat bladder cancer, your doctor may also recommend having chemo- or immunotherapy before or after the procedure to prevent cancer from coming back.
Chemotherapy is a treatment used to address bladder cancer either alone or alongside surgical treatment.
For cancer contained in the bladder, your treatment team may recommend intravesical chemotherapy, which involves injecting medication directly into the bladder to fight cancer cells.
If your cancer has spread to other parts of the body, your doctors may recommend systemic chemotherapy instead. Systemic chemo fights cancer cells throughout the body by transporting medicine through the bloodstream.
3. Radiation Therapy
In radiation therapy, a machine administers high-energy radiation to cancer cells to kill them or keep them from growing. You may choose radiation for bladder cancer treatment in addition to surgery or as an alternative if you do not wish to have surgery.
Immunotherapy is a new option for treating bladder cancer and works by making it easier for the body's immune system to fight cancer cells.
Immunotherapy drugs such as tecentriq (atezolizumab) and imfinzi (durvalumab) block the signal that prevents the immune system from attacking cancer cells. BCG bladder cancer treatments, on the other hand, use the germ Bacillus Calmette-Guerin to trigger an immune response to the cancer.
Immunotherapy can help patients with early and advanced stage bladder cancer, especially in combination with other treatments.
Get Tested and Treated for Bladder Cancer
Getting tested for bladder cancer is the first step to receiving the treatment you need. Cxbladder is a non-invasive urine test that can detect bladder cancer and provide useful information about potential treatment paths.
Reach out to your doctor to discuss your bladder cancer testing and treatment options today. If you'd like to learn more about Cxbladder, our representatives can help.
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