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How Is Metastatic Bladder Cancer Treated
The way that metastatic bladder cancer is treated depends primarily on where the cancer has spread and the type of cells that make up the primary tumor. Its important to remember that when bladder cancer spreads, the secondary tumors are still considered to be bladder cancer not lung cancer, liver cancer or any other type of malignancy. Potential treatment options may include chemotherapy, radiation therapy and clinical trials.
At Moffitt Cancer Center, weve treated many patients with metastatic bladder cancer, creating tailored treatment plans for every single one. To help ease the burdens of treatment, we also offer comprehensive supportive care services for patients and their caregivers.
How Is Bladder Cancer Treated
Treatment for bladder cancer will depend on the stage and type of cancer you have. Your provider will talk to you about treatment options and which plan of care is best for you.
Superficial Bladder Cancer
Superficial bladder cancer is bladder cancer that has not invaded into the muscle. It is often treated with surgery and intravesicular therapy.
A TURBT is a surgical treatment in which a surgeon removes the bladder tumor using a tool placed into the body through the urethra. The extent of the disease is based mainly on findings during this test. TURBT is the main treatment for superficial disease since all of the tumor is often able to be removed. After a TURBT, you may have intravesicular therapy to prevent the cancer from coming back.
Intravesicular therapy is when chemotherapy or immune therapy is injected directly into the bladder. This treatment destroys any remaining cancer cells. Both immunotherapy and chemotherapy medications can be used in intravesicular therapy.
Bacillus Calmette-Guerin is an immunotherapy medication that is used. BCG is a type of virus that works to stimulate the immune system to destroy any cancer cells in the area. You will likely be given this medication multiple times. After treatment, you will have regular cystoscopies to monitor for any reoccurrence or new tumor development.
Muscle Invading Bladder Cancer
Bladder Preservation Therapy
Radiation and Chemoradiation
Recommended Reading: What Happens With Bladder Cancer
Treatment For Bladder Cancer
Treatment for bladder cancer depends on how quickly the cancer is growing. Treatment is different for non-muscle invasive bladder cancer and muscle-invasive bladder cancer. You might feel confused or unsure about your treatment options and decisions. Its okay to ask your treatment team to explain the information to you more than once. Its often okay to take some time to think about your decisions.
Transurethral Resection Of A Bladder Tumor
A procedure called transurethral resection is commonly used to learn more about the bladder cancer. This procedure is often also part of treatment for early-stage or non-muscle invasive bladder cancer. During this procedure, a telescope is inserted into your bladder, and the tumor is then removed by scraping it from the bladder wall. Other tests may include a CT scan of the abdomen and pelvis, MRI scans, X-rays, and bone scans.3
Also Check: Can Too Much Sugar Cause A Bladder Infection
Bladder Cancer Clinical Trials
What about Clinical Trials?
You may hear about clinical trials for your bladder cancer. Clinical trials are research studies that test if a new treatment or procedure is safe and effective.
Through clinical trials, doctors find new ways to improve treatments and the quality of life for people with disease. Trials are available for all stages of cancer. The results of a clinical trial can make a major difference to patients and their families. Please visit our clinical trials research webpage to learn more.
Questions To Ask The Doctor
- What treatment do you think is best for me?
- Whats the goal of this treatment? Do you think it could cure the cancer?
- Will treatment include surgery? If so, who will do the surgery?
- What will the surgery be like?
- How will I pee after surgery?
- Will I have other types of treatment, too?
- Whats the goal of these treatments?
- What side effects could I have from these treatments?
- Is there a clinical trial that might be right for me?
- What about treatments like special vitamins or diets that friends tell me about? How will I know if they are safe?
- What should I do to be ready for treatment?
- Is there anything I can do to help the treatment work better?
- Whats the next step?
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Resources For More Information
Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network
Offers education and support services, advances research, and raises awareness about bladder cancer. Has an extensive online resource library for bladder cancer patients.
American Bladder Cancer Society
The site is intended to offer help, hope, and support to anyone affected by bladder cancer. Bladder cancer information, resources, and a support forum are offered.
Can Bladder Cancer Cause Bone Pain
The most common symptom of bladder cancer is blood in the urine that is visible, which is experienced by around 80% to 90% of patients diagnosed. Around 20% to 30% of patients experience other symptoms related to urination, including
- Pain or burning before, during, or after urination
- Urgently needing to urinate despite a bladder that is not full
- Not being able to urinate, even if your bladder is full
Let your healthcare provider know if you are experiencing bone pain. While bladder cancer is not a very common reason, it is important to diagnose and treat the cause. It is especially important to tell your healthcare provider if you experience bone pain and you have noticed blood in your urine or have any other types of urinary symptoms.
Also Check: Causes Of Repeated Bladder Infections
Can I Lower My Risk Of Getting A Second Cancer
There are steps you can take to lower your risk and stay as healthy as possible. For example, prostate cancer survivors should do their best to stay away from all tobacco products and tobacco smoke. Smoking can increase the risk of bladder cancer, as well as increase the risk of many other cancers.
To help maintain good health, prostate cancer survivors should also:
- Get to and stay at a healthy weight
- Keep physically active and limit the time you spend sitting or lying down
- Follow a healthy eating pattern that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and limits or avoids red and processed meats, sugary drinks, and highly processed foods
- Not drink alcohol. If you do drink, have no more than 1 drink per day for women or 2 per day for men
These steps may also lower the risk of some other health problems.
See Second Cancers in Adults to learn a lot more about the causes of second cancers.
Our team is made up of doctors and oncology certified nurses with deep knowledge of cancer care as well as journalists, editors, and translators with extensive experience in medical writing.
Bostrom PJ, Soloway MS. Secondary cancer after radiotherapy for prostate cancer: Should we be more aware of the risk? Eur Urol. 2007 52:973-982.
Moon K, Stukenborg GJ, Keim J, Theodorescu D. Cancer incidence after localized therapy for prostate cancer. Cancer. 2006 107:991-998.
Last Revised: June 9, 2020
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How Does Kidney Cancer Spread
The cancer can breakaway and spread from where it started to another area of the body. The original area where it grows for the first time is called primary site and the original cancer is called primary cancer.
When it has spread, it may cause a new growth of tumor called secondary cancer . The secondary, metastatic cancer has the same type of cancer cells where they come from, the primary cancer.
For instance when kidney cancer spreads to the lung, the cancer cells in the lung are kidney cancer cells it is metastatic kidney cancer or called secondary lung cancer not primary lung cancer. The process of the cancer cells moves from the original /primary site to other parts of the body and create a new abnormal growth is called metastasis.
The metastasis of kidney cancer can occur in several different ways direct invasion, hematogenous spread, and through lymphatic system.
With this way, the cancer spreads and grows into surrounding tissues or structures. For instance, kidney cancer can easily spread to the adrenal gland a small, essential gland located on top of each kidney.
The cancer cells can break free from the primary tumor and travel through bloodstream to a new location in the body. With this hematogenous metastasis, they can spread far away from where they started.
Lymphatic system spread
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Where Does Metastatic Bladder Cancer Spread To
Bladder cancer spreads when cancerous cells reproduce and invade surrounding healthy tissues. This is known as metastasis. Usually, metastatic bladder cancer refers to cancer that has spread to distant organs, but metastasis can occur locally in the muscles and connective tissues that are directly adjacent to the bladder as well.
Smoking Can Affect The Risk Of Bladder Cancer
Anything that increases your chance of getting a disease is called a risk factor. Having a risk factor does not mean that you will get cancer not having risk factors doesn’t mean that you will not get cancer. Talk to your doctor if you think you may be at risk for bladder cancer.
Risk factors for bladder cancer include the following:
- Using tobacco, especially smoking cigarettes.
- Having a family history of bladder cancer.
- Having certain changes in the genes that are linked to bladder cancer.
- Being exposed to paints, dyes, metals, or petroleum products in the workplace.
- Past treatment with radiation therapy to the pelvis or with certain anticancer drugs, such as cyclophosphamide or ifosfamide.
- Taking Aristolochia fangchi, a Chinese herb.
- Drinking water from a well that has high levels of arsenic.
- Drinking water that has been treated with chlorine.
- Having a history of bladder infections, including bladder infections caused by Schistosoma haematobium.
- Using urinarycatheters for a long time.
Older age is a risk factor for most cancers. The chance of getting cancer increases as you get older.
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Bladder Cancer Is A Disease In Which Malignant Cells Form In The Tissues Of The Bladder
The bladder is a hollow organ in the lower part of the abdomen. It is shaped like a small balloon and has a muscular wall that allows it to get larger or smaller to store urine made by the kidneys. There are two kidneys, one on each side of the backbone, above the waist. Tiny tubules in the kidneys filter and clean the blood. They take out waste products and make urine. The urine passes from each kidney through a long tube called a ureter into the bladder. The bladder holds the urine until it passes through the urethra and leaves the body.
There are three types of bladder cancer that begin in cells in the lining of the bladder. These cancers are named for the type of cells that become malignant :
- Transitional cell carcinoma: Cancer that begins in cells in the innermost tissue layer of the bladder. These cells are able to stretch when the bladder is full and shrink when it is emptied. Most bladder cancers begin in the transitional cells. Transitional cell carcinoma can be low-grade or high-grade:
- Low-grade transitional cell carcinoma often recurs after treatment, but rarely spreads into the muscle layer of the bladder or to other parts of the body.
- High-grade transitional cell carcinoma often recurs after treatment and often spreads into the muscle layer of the bladder, to other parts of the body, and to lymph nodes. Almost all deaths from bladder cancer are due to high-grade disease.
See the following PDQ summaries for more information:
Stages Of Bladder Cancer: What You Need To Know
When you are first diagnosed with bladder cancer, your doctors will perform tests to determine the stage and grade of your disease. The bladder cancer staging and grading processes help your doctors make treatment decisions and estimate your chance of recovery.
Bladder cancer is a growth that starts in the inner wall of the bladder, the organ that collects and expels urine created by the kidneys. The bladder has three layers of muscular walls that make up its structure. A cancerous growth in the bladder can grow uncontrollably and start spreading to other parts of the body.
When doctors first diagnose a cancerous tumor of any kind, they assess how much it has grown, how far it has spread in the body, and how abnormal, or wild, the cancerous cells in the tumor look. These assessments are used to determine cancers stage and grade.
Doctors use the staging information to compare treatment options and patient outcomes. Staging and grading also important in determining your eligibility for cancer treatment clinical trials.
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Treatment Of Stages Ii And Iii Bladder Cancer
For information about the treatments listed below, see the Treatment Option Overview section.
- Transurethral resection with fulguration.
- A clinical trial of a new treatment.
Use our clinical trial search to find NCI-supported cancer clinical trials that are accepting patients. You can search for trials based on the type of cancer, the age of the patient, and where the trials are being done. General information about clinical trials is also available.
Faqs About Prostate Cancer That Has Spread To The Bones
Learn what this diagnosis means for your health and your future, and what you can do to feel strong and well supported.
The prostate is a gland the size of a golf ball that sits below the bladder and in front of the rectum. Its responsible for making the fluid that forms semen. Many men develop cancer of the prostate gland its the second most common cancer among men in the United States. There are several stages of prostate cancer the earliest, when the cancer is still limited to the prostate gland itself, is the easiest to treat.
When the cancer has spread, or metastasized, beyond the prostate gland, its considered advanced, according to the American Cancer Society . When it spreads, its common for cancer cells to reach the bones first. Nine out of 10 men with advanced prostate cancer also have it in their bones.
At this advanced stage, the cancer cant be cured, says Scott T. Tagawa, MD, a medical oncologist at Weill Cornell Medicine and New York-Presbyterian Hospital in New York City. But with treatment, many men can live a long time. There are men Ive been treating for advanced prostate cancer for 10 or 20 years.
Arm yourself with the facts about what happens when prostate cancer spreads to the bones and what you can do to help manage it.
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Five Types Of Standard Treatment Are Used:
One of the following types of surgery may be done:
- Transurethral resection with fulguration: Surgery in which a cystoscope is inserted into the bladder through the urethra.A tool with a small wire loop on the end is then used to remove thecancer or to burn the tumor away with high-energy electricity. This is known as fulguration.
- Radical cystectomy: Surgery to remove the bladder and anylymph nodes and nearby organs that contain cancer. This surgery may bedone when the bladder cancer invades the muscle wall, or when superficialcancer involves a large part of the bladder. In men, the nearby organs that areremoved are the prostate and the seminal vesicles. In women, the uterus, theovaries, and part of the vagina are removed. Sometimes, when the cancer hasspread outside the bladder and cannot be completely removed, surgery to removeonly the bladder may be done to reduce urinarysymptoms caused by the cancer.When the bladder must be removed, the surgeon creates another way for urine toleave the body.
- Partial cystectomy: Surgery to remove part of thebladder. This surgery may be done for patients who have a low-grade tumor thathas invaded the wall of the bladder but is limited to one area of the bladder.Because only a part of the bladder is removed, patients are able to urinate normally afterrecovering from this surgery. This is also called segmental cystectomy.
- Urinary diversion: Surgery to make a new way forthe body to store and pass urine.
The Stages Of Invasive Bladder Cancer
Your doctor diagnoses invasive bladder cancer by looking at how far cancer tumours have grown into the bladder. This is called the T stage . There are three T stages of invasive bladder cancer:
- T2 means cancer has grown into the muscle layer of the bladder
- T3 means cancer has grown through the muscle layer into the fatty tissue layer
- T4 means cancer has grown outside the bladder OR into the prostate, womb or vagina, OR into the wall of the pelvis or tummy
Your doctor also looks at:
- whether cancer has spread to any lymph nodes
- whether or not it has spread to other parts of the body like the bones, lungs or liver
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