Treatments for bladder cancer include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and immunotherapy.
Surgery: One of the following surgery options may be performed in the treatment of bladder cancer:
- Transurethral resection (TUR): Is a procedure that used a thin lighted tube that is used to remove the bladder cancer or burn the tumour with fulguration.
- Partial cystectomy: is surgery to remove part of the bladder for patients who have a low-grade tumour that has spread to the wall of the bladder.
- Radical cystectomy: is surgery to remove the bladder and any involved lymph nodes and adjacent organs, such as the prostate or ovaries.
Radiation Therapy: traditional external radiation therapy or internal radiation therapy (seeds, wires, catheters) may be used depending on the type and stage of the cancer.
Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy is often used in combination with other bladder cancer treatments. Chemotherapy is often given either before surgery (neoadjuvant chemo) or after surgery (adjuvant chemo) to lower the chance the cancer will reoccur. Some of the drugs currently approved for bladder cancer include: Adriamycin PFS, Adriamycin RDF, Mitomycin C, Thiotepa, Cisplatin, Doxorubicin Hydrochloride, Platinol, Platinol-AQ
Immunotherapy, or biologic therapy: is a treatment that uses the patient’s immune system to stop the cancer growth. One effective immunotherapy treatment used in the treatment of bladder cancer, BCG (bacillus Calmette-Guerin), is a live but weakened vaccine strain of bovine tuberculosis.