Bladder cancer treatment normally proceeds methodically and commences once confirmation is done to ascertain the nature of the invasive bladder cancer. Generally, treatment options for victims depend on factors such as stage of cancer, health status, and the suitability or relevance of mode of treatment. Regardless of the stage of bladder cancer, it is important to discuss the treatment options with your physician.
The first type of treatment for bladder cancer is referred to as radiation therapy. In this technique, powerful energy beams are directed at the cancer cells with the aim of destroying them. This can be performed either externally or internally through brachytherapy. This technique can also be used before surgery to create space for advanced surgical procedures and also destroy remnant cancer cells after surgery. Sometimes it is combined with chemotherapy for effective treatment.
The third treatment option for victims of bladder cancer is biological therapy. This technique is used to prompt appropriate response from the body’s immune system so that it can fight the cancer cells in the bladder. This treatment is normally administered via the urethra. Some of the drugs used in this therapy incorporate immune stimulating bacterium such as BCG. Synthetic drugs include Interferon alfa and it is sometimes combined with BCG.
The next type of bladder cancer treatment is chemotherapy. In this treatment, specific drugs are used to destroy the cancer cells. This normally involves combination of at least two powerful chemotherapy drugs which are administered either orally or intravenously. In most cases, it used during and after surgery to eliminate any remnant cancer cells. In some cases, chemotherapy is combined with other forms of treatment for better results. This treatment has the capacity to reduce the size of a tumor to create space for further surgery.
Lastly, surgery may be performed as a means of last resort especially when the disease is invasive. There are various types of surgery depending on the stage of bladder cancer growth. If the cancer is at its infancy Stage 1, then surgery may be performed to remove the tumor. This may involve transurethral resection to remove cancers localized to linings of the bladder wall.
Alternatively, the physician may perform a radical bladder cancer treatment surgery to remove both the tumor and the infected section of the bladder. This is normally used when the cancer is restricted to a small area of the bladder so that normal functioning of the bladder is preserved. If the bladder cancer is invasive, that is, it has invaded the deep layers of the bladder wall, the remaining option may be to remove the entire bladder and all affected tissues nearby.
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