There are various bladder cancer treatment options available for people with bladder cancer. It is estimated that every year approximately 38,000 new cases of bladder cancer are diagnosed in men and 15,000 in women. Found in the lower abdomen, the bladder is a hollow organ that stores urine, the liquid waste that is produced by the kidneys.
Bladder cancer treatment depends on the particular type of bladder cancer (transitional cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma or superficial/carcinoma in situ), the grade of the tumor (which indicates how closely the tumor resembles normal noncancerous cells), and the particular stage of growth the cancer has reached upon diagnosis. Recommended bladder cancer treatment options may include one or more of the following:
Some Bladder Cancer Treatment Options
Surgery Bladder Cancer Treatment
A common bladder cancer treatment, a surgeon can perform one of three different types of procedures.The first, called transurethral resection (TUR), is used to treat early-stage or superficial bladder cancer. The second type of surgical procedure, called a radical cystectomy, occurs when the surgeon removes the entire bladder, the surrounding lymph nodes, a portion of the urethra and any nearby organs that may also contain cancer cells. For women, these nearby organs include the ovaries, fallopian tubes, uterus and part of the vagina. In men, the vas deferens, seminal vesicles and the prostate are removed.The final type of surgery – segmental cystectomy – is where the surgeon only removes part of the bladder.
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Radiation Therapy Bladder Cancer Treatment
This form of bladder cancer treatment, given externally or internally, uses high energy rays to kill the bladder cancer cells. Other times it is given after surgery to try to kill any cancerous cells left after the operation.
Chemotherapy Bladder Cancer Treatment
Depending on the type of bladder cancer, more than one type of chemotherapy can be used. For superficial bladder cancer, the chemotherapy may be inserted directly into the bladder through a catheter. For more aggressive types, chemotherapy typically is given intravenously (through a vein).
Biological Therapy Bladder Cancer Treatment
Also commonly referred to as immunotherapy, these are drugs that have been designed to work by manipulating the body’s immune system to fight the cancer. This type of therapy is usually given after TUR surgery for superficial bladder cancer.