Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Cancer Bladder Treatment

Treatment for bladder cancer depends on the stage of the cancer. The stage indicates whether the cancer has spread to organs outside the bladder. Surgery may be the only form of treatment if the tumor is small and is confined to the bladder wall. Treatment for cancer that has spread beyond the bladder usually includes some combination of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. Chemotherapy drugs kill rapidly growing cancer cells, while radiation therapy uses x-ray beams to destroy cancer cells. A course of radiation therapy and chemotherapy may require weeks or months.

Treatment of bladder cancer may include:


Some chemotherapy medications for bladder cancer are delivered directly into the bladder, using a catheter or rubber tube.

Medications delivered directly into the bladder include:

The side effects of chemotherapy introduced into the bladder include:

Additional chemotherapy medications for bladder cancer are delivered through a vein, into the bloodstream.

Intravenous chemotherapy medications include:

Cancer Bladder Chemotherapy

Some chemotherapy medications for bladder cancer are delivered directly into the bladder, using a catheter or rubber tube.

Medications delivered directly into the bladder include:


The side effects of chemotherapy introduced into the bladder include:

Additional chemotherapy medications for bladder cancer are delivered through a vein, into the bloodstream.

Intravenous medications include:

Cancer Bladder Questions For Doctor

The following are some important questions to ask before and after the treatment of bladder cancer.

Questions to ask before treatment:

  • What are my treatment options?
    • Is surgery an option for me?
  • What are the risks associated with treatment?
  • Do I need to stay in the hospital?
    • How long will I be in the hospital?
  • What are the complications I should watch for?
  • How long will I be on medication?
  • What are the potential side effects of my medication?
  • Does my medication interact with nonprescription medicines or supplements?
  • Should I take my medication with food?

Questions to ask after treatment:
  • Do I need to change my diet?
  • Are there any medications or supplements I should avoid?
  • When can I resume my normal activities?
  • When can I return to work?
  • Do I need a special exercise program?
  • What else can I do to reduce my risk for having this problem again?
  • How often will I need to see my doctor for checkups?
  • What local support and other resources are available?

Cancer Bladder Specialist

Physicians from the following specialties evaluate and treat bladder cancer:

Cancer Bladder Surgery

The type of surgery depends on the stage of bladder cancer. Early stage cancers can be removed during cystoscopy. Cancers that have spread to surrounding tissue usually require partial or complete removal of the bladder.

Continue to Cancer Bladder Home Care

Last Updated: Jun 2, 2011 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Cancer Bladder References
  1. Johansson SL, Cohen SM: Epidemiology and etiology of bladder cancer. Semin Surg Oncol 1997 Sep-Oct; 13(5): 291-8. [9259084]
  2. Montironi R, Lopez-Beltran A. The 2004 WHO classification of bladder tumors: a summary and commentary. Int J Surg Pathol. 2005 Apr;13(2):143-53. [15864376]
  3. Rosenberg JE, Carroll PR, Small EJ. Update on chemotherapy for advanced bladder cancer. J Urol. 2005 Jul;174(1):14-20. [15947569]
  4. Warde P, Gospodarowicz MK: New approaches in the use of radiation therapy in the treatment of infiltrative transitional-cell cancer of the bladder. World J Urol 1997; 15(2): 125-33. [9144903]
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