Bladder cancer is diagnosed in 50,000 patients annually in the United States, according to the American Cancer Society.
At MedStar Health, we provide comprehensive care for bladder cancer including:
- Chemotherapy and immunotherapy for early stage treatment
- Radical cystectomy with continent urinary diversion (bladder replacement using intestine instead of external drainage system)
- Robotic-assisted laparoscopic surgery
- Cutting-edge medical oncology and radiation treatment
- Palliative services
- Blood in the urine
- Pain during urination
- Pain in the pelvis
Diagnosis and Treatment
Bladder cancer occurs predominantly in elderly men and less frequently in women and younger men. Your doctor will ask for a complete medical history and will perform a thorough physical examination. Diagnostic tests may include:
- Analysis of urine under a microscope to check for blood and possible cancerous cells
- Radiological imaging of the entire urologic system, including ultrasound
- Cystoscopy with biopsies
Fortunately, 80 percent of bladder tumors can be readily treated with endoscopic techniques, which remove the tumors through the cystoscope via the urethra. At times, immunotherapy—a form of the tuberculosis vaccine known as BCG—is instilled in the bladder to treat or prevent recurrences.
However, in 20 percent of patients, the cancer has invaded into the bladder wall, and more aggressive treatment is required. This may involve:
- Radiation therapy
- Bladder cancer surgery
- Robotic cystectomy is simply a minimally invasive surgical method for bladder cancer. This procedure offers bladder cancer patients the prospect of a more effective surgery and less problematic post-surgical recovery.
- A combination of the three
Getting a second opinion means asking a bladder cancer specialist, aside from your initial physician, to review your medical reports and test results and then provide a diagnosis and treatment recommendations. The specialist may confirm your initial diagnosis and treatment recommendations, provide additional treatment options, or even give more details about your type and stage of bladder cancer. Even if you’ve already had treatment, it’s not too late to get a second opinion. To get a second opinion contact our bladder cancer specialists by calling us at 877-715-HOPE.