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Treatment Options for Bladder Cancer

Specific treatment for bladder or urethral cancer will be determined by your physician based on:

Most individuals with bladder cancer have superficial and non-invasive tumors. Treatment for these tumors is often very effective with an excellent prognosis. The remainder of bladder cancers invade deep into the bladder wall and muscle. There is a greater risk for metastasis into other tissues in these cases. Depending on the extent, bladder cancers may be managed with a single therapy or combination of treatments.

Treatment may include:

What is a Urostomy?

A urostomy is a surgical procedure to create a new opening for urine drainage. Usually, a small portion of the small intestine is used to make a tube for urine passage to the outside of the body. The opening of this tube is called a stoma. Urine empties into a small pouch or bag attached over the stoma outside the body. Another type of urostomy procedure creates an internal pouch called a continent reservoir. This pouch, often made from the small intestine, is located inside the abdominal wall. It is connected to the urethra or to a stoma. Individuals with a continent reservoir urostomy learn to drain their urine using a catheter, either through the urethra or the stoma.

The long-term prognosis for individuals with bladder or urethral cancer depends on the size of the tumor, lymph node involvement, and degree of metastasis (spreading) at the time of diagnosis. Sometimes superficial bladder cancers recur locally in the bladder, at the site of original diagnosis, or at other places in the bladder. These recurrent tumors are evaluated and treated the same way as the original cancer. However, if the tumor continues to return, eventually a cystectomy will be required. But, tumors that recur in distant sites may require other treatments, such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy.

Stanford Medicine Resources:

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