4 Types of Bladder Cancer Treatments

Bladder cancer is among the most common types of cancer. While the exact cause of the condition is unknown, studies have established certain risk factors that may increase the likelihood of developing this cancer. The treatments for bladder cancer vary, depending on the overall health of the patient, stage at which the cancer is diagnosed, and the extent to which the cancer cells have spread.

Here is a list of four different types of bladder cancer treatments for low-grade and high-grade bladder tumors:

1. Surgery
The goal of surgery is to eliminate cancerous tissue. There are various procedures that can be used for bladder cancer surgery. In a majority of cases, transurethral resection of bladder tumor (TURBT) procedure is done to prevent cancer from spreading. In this procedure, a wire is passed into the bladder that destroys the cancer cells.

Another type of surgery that the doctors may recommend is the cystectomy. It involves partial or complete removal of the bladder. Depending on the severity of cancer, the doctor may either conduct partial cystectomy or radical cystectomy. If tumors have to the lymph nodes, these might also be removed in a radical cystectomy. After this surgery, the patient will have to go through a neobladder reconstruction procedure for the purpose of urine diversion.

2. Chemotherapy
Bladder cancer treatments often include chemotherapy. In this procedure, the patient is given powerful drugs that destroy cancer cells. There are different ways of giving chemotherapy medications, i.e., it may be administered intravenously into the arm or through a tube into the bladder. Chemotherapy is one of the most prescribed treatments for bladder cancer and may be administered before or post-surgical procedures.

3. Radiation therapy
Radiation therapy is often used for the treatment of advanced bladder cancer. In this treatment, high-energy radiation is used to destroy the cancer cells. In most cases, radiation therapy is used in combination with chemotherapy to kill cancer cells in the bladder. Patients with early-stage bladder cancer who can not go for surgery may have to get radiation therapy.

4. Immunotherapy
Immunotherapy is among the common bladder cancer treatments that are used for treating early-stage cancers. It is a biological therapy in which the body’s immune system combats the cancer cells. In this treatment, the specialist injects a germ in the bladder. Depending on the severity and stage of the condition, the specialist may use different types of immunotherapy medications for the treatment process.

In a few cases, where bladder cancer patients are cited as ineligible for chemotherapy, immunotherapy may be used as a preferred treatment. The doctors consider a variety of factors before recommending any of the above bladder cancer treatments. Also, the duration of these treatments varies depending on the severity of the disease.

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