The right treatment for bladder cancer will depend on many factors, including whether the cancer has become invasive or not. Invasive bladder cancer occurs when the tumour has spread into the muscle of the bladder. It requires a different approach to non-invasive bladder cancer.
SYou may have one or more of these treatments if you’ve been diagnosed with invasive bladder cancer. The treatment can often eliminate the cancer completely, but if this isn’t possible it can help to reduce the size of the cancer to relieve your symptoms.
- Surgery to remove part or all of the bladder may be recommended if the cancer has spread to a large part of the bladder. It can give the best chance of successfully eliminating the cancer.
- Radiotherapy uses a beam of radiation to kill the cancer cells. You will usually need repeated radiotherapy sessions in order to destroy as much of the tumour as possible. Medication can be used to enhance the effects of the radiotherapy against invasive bladder cancer.
- Chemotherapy is often used alongside other types of treatment for bladder cancer in order to enhance the effects. It uses drugs to shrink the cancer before surgery or radiotherapy, or to eliminate cancer cells that have been left behind after other treatment.
Which Treatment is Right for You?
- The type of bladder cancer you have,. Squamous cell cancer is less likely to respond to radiotherapy so it will usually be treated with surgery instead.
- The size of the tumour and how far the cancer has spread. Surgery may be the best option if the cancer has spread through a large part of the bladder or it is blocking the tubes that bring urine to the bladder from your kidneys.
- Where the cancer cells are growing.
- The grade of the cancer (how abnormal they look under the microscope).
- Your health and any other factors that will affect your response to treatment.
- How well you’ve responded to previous treatments.