When the diagnosis of bladder cancer is confirmed, different treatment options are considered.
It is important to inform the patient of all possible treatment alternatives and the benefits of each treatment that must be weighed against the possible risks of these treatments and their various possible complications and side effects.
What treatments are usually used to treat bladder cancer?
Treatments depend on the stage of cancer and other factors.
Bladder cancer treatments include bladder cancer treatments:
- Intravenous treatments;
- Radiation therapy;
Often, it will be necessary to combine several treatments.
Surgery alone or in combination with other therapies is often the primary treatment for bladder cancer.
When the diagnosis is made early and it is a superficial tumour, this surgery can be conservative and the patient can keep the bladder.
However, once the bladder has been preserved, it should never be forgotten that there is a risk of bladder tumour recurrence or progression to more aggressive or invasive aspects.
Where treatment may have been conservative for the bladder, further treatment may be required to reduce the risk of recurrence of this tumour.
In any case, close and prolonged monitoring is necessary to detect the appearance of other tumours, which may recur in the bladder or appear in other parts of the urinary tract, at the level of urothelium.
In some cases, it may not be reasonable to retain the bladder and its total surgical removal, which is necessary to heal the patient, should be considered.
Which specialist treats bladder cancer?
The treatment of bladder cancer is managed by a team of specialists:
- The Urologist: a surgeon who specializes in the treatment of diseases of the urinary tract and the male genital tract;
- The radiotherapy oncologist: a specialist who treats cancer by irradiating the tumour with X-rays.
- Medical oncologist: a specialist who treats cancer with drugs such as chemotherapy or immunotherapy.
The team of practitioners who manage cancer usually includes other types of specialists, such as specialized nurses, psychologists, nutrition or functional rehabilitation specialists, etc…..
The choice of treatment
A number of factors are taken into account:
- The patient’s age and life expectancy;
- His medical and surgical history and any comorbidity. Habits such as smoking or oenological intoxication;
- Stage of cancer and cell grade;
- The possibilities of curative treatment or the need to limit oneself to palliative treatment only;
- The after-effects, side effects or risks of complications of different treatments.
- The patient usually discusses the different possible treatments with the urologist who diagnosed bladder cancer.
The urologist presents the patient’s file at a multidisciplinary consultation meeting in cancerology (RCP).
The CPR issues treatment recommendations and establishes a treatment plan that is given to the patient and referred to the attending physician.