Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"What does bladder treatment entail?"
I'm a woman, age 29, getting tests now to determine whether I have bladder cancer. If I do, what should I expect in the way of treatment? How difficult are te treatments relative to other kinds of cancer, and what are the survival rates? Will this damage my bladder?
First, I will say that bladder cancer in a young women such as yourself is exceedingly rare. Bladder cancer is a disease that most often effects older males that have a history of smoking or exposure to certain chemicals. If you do have bladder cancer, then you most likely were exposed to drugs such as cyclophosphamide or phenacetin, or you have a genetic predisposition. With that said, it is not impossible for someone your age to be diagnosed with bladder cancer. The most common type is transitional cell carcinoma. The treatment for this type of cancer is depends on the stage of the cancer. In early stages (stage 1), the cancer can be removed from within the bladder using a cauterizer. More advanced cancers (stage 2 and 3) may require that part or all of the bladder be removed. Stage 4 cancers require chemotherapy. The survival rates depend on the stage at diagnosis (the higher the stage the lower the survival). Stage 1 can have 100% survival rates all of the cancer is removed. The best type of physician to see for this type of problem is a urologist. Urologists can perform a cystoscopy which is a procedure in which a camera looks inside your bladder for any areas that are suspicious for cancer. They can also perform ablative procedures to remove small (stage 1 cancers) or larger procedures to attempt to cure more advanced cancers.
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