Bladder cancer is a relatively common type of cancer that can spread into surrounding urinary tract tissue, but when it's diagnosed early, it can often be treated successfully. Both men and women can develop this type of cancer, and although it's not usually possible to determine why some people develop this condition, there are some risk factors, such as previously undergoing radiation treatment and smoking, that can increase the likelihood of you developing bladder cancer.
This type of cancer can be split into two categories. Non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer develops in the lining of the bladder, while muscle-invasive bladder cancer affects the muscle tissue of the internal bladder wall and can lead to tumours developing inside the bladder. Here's an overview of three established treatment options for bladder cancer:
Chemotherapy for bladder cancer is administered directly into the bladder through a catheter, and the number of chemotherapy sessions you will require will be dependent on the impact of the cancerous cells and whether they have spread to surrounding tissue. Your doctor will review the effectiveness of the treatment by carrying out regular cystoscopes, which involves inserting a tiny camera into your bladder to look for signs of active cancer and taking biopsies for analysis.
Transurethral Resection Of A Tumour
This surgical procedure is carried out under general anaesthetic and involves your doctor using a laser to cut tumours away from your bladder tissue. You will then have a temporary urinary catheter fitted to allow any debris from the surgery to pass out of your urinary tract quickly to prevent bacterial infections from arising.
A cystectomy may be recommended if the cancer in your bladder is extensive or if cancer has returned following a period of remission. The procedure involves removing your bladder and creating a new route for your urine to be processed out of your body. Your doctor may recommend creating a false bladder using your small intestinal tissue to create an internal pouch. Alternatively, they may suggest you opt for a urostomy. This involves having your urine rerouted to the surface of the skin on your abdomen and collecting urine in a stoma bag. The stoma bag can then be opened and emptied in a toilet, as required.
These are a few examples of treatment options available for bladder cancer. If you are struggling to select between a few possible bladder cancer treatment approaches, discuss the available options with your doctor.