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Bladder cancer typically involves the cells lining the urinary bladder. Signs and symptoms are often noticeable even in the early stages of disease.
If you have bladder cancer, your care team at Dignity Health Central California can provide personalized treatment paired with humankindness at every step. Our experts offer advanced bladder cancer treatment throughout Central California. Find a Doctor online today.
Bladder cancer staging at diagnosis helps your Dignity Health Central California doctor create your personalized treatment plan. In early stages, treatment is focused on removing bladder cancer and keeping it from coming back. In later stage cancer, this may not be possible, so the primary goals may shift to prolonging life and easing symptoms.
Most stages of bladder cancer will involve some type of surgery as a part of treatment. In early stage cancers, surgery may only involve removing the tumor. In more advanced cases, doctors may need to remove the entire bladder or a part of the bladder wall.
Intravesical therapy involves putting a liquid drug, chemotherapy or immunotherapy, directly into the bladder through a catheter. With this method, the drug affects only the lining of the bladder. Typically, doctors use intravesical therapy following surgery in early stages of bladder cancer.
Systemic chemotherapy is taken by vein or mouth and affects the whole body. The goal of systemic chemotherapy is to kill cancer cells or stop them from growing. Chemotherapy can be used to shrink tumors before surgery and to eliminate any remaining cancer cells after surgery. Combining radiation with chemotherapy can make the treatment work better. Chemotherapy may be the main treatment for people who can’t have surgery or have advanced stage cancer.
Like chemotherapy, radiation therapy following surgery can help kill cancer cells. It can also be used as a primary treatment for those who can’t have surgery. Radiation can also help ease symptoms and improve comfort in advanced stage bladder cancer.
Your doctor at Dignity Health Central California will recommend treatment options based on your personal preference and the stage of your cancer. Your overall health and other tumor characteristics also play a role. Be sure to talk to your doctor about the risks, goals, side effects, and benefits of each option before beginning any recommended treatment. Together, you can create the best treatment plan for you.