Usually, bladder cancer treatment depends on the clinical stage of the tumour during the first diagnosis. The stage depends on the depth of the tumour into the bladder's wall and whether it has spread to other parts of the body. Other factors are tumour size, cancer cell growth pace and the health preferences of the person. The treatment options are also affected by the stage of cancer. You will find out here the basic expectations you can have for stage 1 bladder cancer treatment.
If you have been diagnosed with stage 1 (superficial) bladder cancer, it is most likely that your treatment includes immunotherapy to treat the bladder's inside. Minimal surgery might be required as part of your bladder cancer treatment plan. There are rare cases when radiation or chemotherapy is recommended.
Standard immunotherapy bladder cancer treatment uses the bacteria BCG (bacillus calmette guerin). In this kind of treatment, cells that are cancerous are taken from the bladder wall, and then the BCG solution is used to fill the bladder. The BCG solution produces a response that is immune and eradicates the cancer cells. The BCG solution is an effective agent that keeps cancer from returning or spreading. The rate of success for this kind of immunotherapy is quite impressive. Immunotherapy can also be used for a clinical trial in an advanced stage or rare cases of bladder cancer.
Transurethral resection of the bladder tumour (TURBT) is a surgery that uses special instruments which are connected to the cystoscope. The purpose of this is to cut the tumour so it can be removed using an electrical cautery or laser.
Partial cystectomy only removes a portion of the bladder with the cancer cells.
Signs and Symptoms of Bladder Cancer
If you experience frequent urination, pain during urination, lower back pain and blood in urine, you should visit your doctor for a check-up.
Follow-Up and After-Treatment Outlook
A follow-up is needed after every three months for a few years to make sure that the cancer is not coming back or there are no new tumours in the bladder.
Even if it is a slow-growing cancer, another TURBT is normally recommended after several weeks. If the doctor thinks that everything has been removed, intravesical chemo is normally given. In case some of the cancer was left, cystectomy or intravesical BCG are the options.
Early detection is the best way to fight cancer, especially considering that the stress cancer brings to a person is heavy. Bladder cancer treatment is also expensive, which is why prevention is better.