There are different treatment options available for bladder cancer, depending on the grade of the cancer and how deeply it has invaded the bladder wall.
The treatment selected for you also depends on your general health. Your doctor will evaluate your condition and suggest an individualised treatment plan that consists of a single or a combination of treatment methods.
If the bladder cancer is still in the early (superficial) stage, treatment includes:
- Follow-ups after treatment as superficial bladder cancers tend to re-occur
- Intravesical chemotherapy, which can be used alone or after TURBT, whereby chemotherapy drugs are injected directly into the bladder through a catheter
- Trans-urethral resection of bladder tumour (TURBT), a minimally invasive surgery that uses a resectoscope instrument, which is inserted into the bladder through the urethra, to snip away the tumour or burn away bladder cancer cells with an electric current
If the bladder cancer has reached an advanced (invasive) stage, the following treatment options may be recommended:
- Biological therapy that uses live-attenuated bcg bacteria, to trigger an immune response against the bladder cancer cells. The bacteria are injected directly into the bladder using a catheter.
- Chemotherapy drugs, injected intravenously so they circulate in the blood and reach nearly every organ in the body. These can also be given orally.
- Radical cystectomy, a surgery that removes the whole bladder, surrounding lymph nodes and any neighbouring organs that have become cancerous. Your doctor will create a new replacement bladder using a part of the small or large intestine.
- Radiotherapy using high-energy rays, used to kill cancer cells and to relieve symptoms caused by the disease