Bladder Cancer Care

Overview

The bladder is the organ that stores urine. It is lined with layers of stretchy muscle tissue that allow it to shrink and expand as needed. It is in these layers of tissue that bladder cancer usually begins. This causes very noticeable symptoms, which is why bladder cancer is often diagnosed in its earliest stages.

Early symptoms of bladder cancer include:

  • A frequent need to urinate
  • Pain when urinating
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Blood in urine
  • Feeling like you need to urinate even when the bladder isn’t full
  • Waking up several times during the night because you feel like you need to urinate
  • Pelvic pain

Keep in mind that these symptoms could be attributed to another condition and do not always signify cancer. If you have any of these symptoms, it is important to consult with a doctor and get an official diagnosis.

Treatment Options

Bladder cancer is very treatable in the early stages. The exact treatment plan will depend on where the tumor is and how far it has spread. Removing the tumor is the goal of treatment. There are many minimally invasive surgeries that can be used to remove a tumor on the bladder. For aggressive tumors, however, additional treatments such as intravescal therapy may be needed.

Bladder Cancer Treatments

  • Intravescal Therapy
    This treatment includes the introduction of chemotherapy or immunotherapy drugs directly into the bladder through a catheter.
  • Robotic Cystectomy
    This treatment includes surgical removal of part or all of the bladder and possibly its surrounding organs using the da Vinci® SI robotic system.
  • Systemic Chemotherapy
    A systemic therapy passes through the entire body, whereas a targeted therapy goes directly to the tumor, systemic therapy passes through the entire body. Chemotherapy for bladder cancer is systemic and travels through the bloodstream to nearly all parts of the body.

Even early-stage bladder cancers are likely to recur, so patients often need to continue receiving bladder cancer screenings for several years after a tumor is successfully removed.