Bladder cancer treatment and diagnosis

Bladder cancer

Bladder cancer is the seventh most common cancer type the U.S. with an estimated 80,000 new cases each year. Early diagnosis and treatment can mean a positive outcome for many. We have the facilities to offer several different treatments that can improve your bladder cancer prognosis, help manage the condition and minimize any discomfort and pain. Our team will work with you to decide on the most appropriate treatment plan that will be tailored to you and your needs.

Chapter 1

Diagnostics

Bladder cancer is often diagnosed with cystoscopy and transurethral resection of bladder tumor (TURBT) biopsy, although your doctor may use other tests to identify the problem. You may also have imaging scans, such as MRI and CT, and other tests to find out more about your cancer, where it’s located and which treatments are likely to be most effective. Some of these tests are also used to assess how well your treatment is working.

Find your nearest GenesisCare center to find out what diagnostic tests and scans are available in your local area. Whatever your outcome, our expert team will support you throughout your treatment journey.

Chapter 2

Surgery

We work with expert teams of urologists—surgeons specializing in conditions related to the bladder and urinary tract, as well as the male reproductive system. They are highly experienced in the surgical removal of benign (non-cancerous) and malignant (cancerous) tumors of the bladder. There are different types of procedures used for bladder cancer surgery and your urologist will recommend the most appropriate one for you depending on how advanced and fast growing your disease is.

Transurethral resection

Transurethral resection of a bladder tumor (sometimes shortened to TURBT or TUR) involves cutting away the cancerous cells using a special tool called a resectoscope. The resectoscope is passed into the bladder via the urethra and the tumor is treated with an electrical current by a process called fulguration. Your urologist will usually recommend transurethral resection if your cancer hasn’t invaded the muscular wall of the bladder.

Partial cystectomy

Partial cystectomy may be performed if your tumor has invaded the wall of the bladder yet is still contained in one area. During this procedure, your urologist will remove the cancerous part of the bladder, but it’ll still be able to carry out its full function after your recovery.

Radical cystectomy

Radical cystectomy is a treatment option for more extensive cancers that have invaded the muscle wall and spread beyond the bladder. During this procedure, your urologist will remove of the bladder and create a new route for urine to pass out your body. Nearby organs or lymph nodes may also need to be removed if the cancer has spread – in men, this may be the prostate and seminal vesicles, and in women, it may be the uterus, ovaries, and part of the vagina.

Chapter 3

Radiation therapy

At GenesisCare we specialize in advanced radiation therapy techniques that are designed to be effective while minimizing the side effects you’ll experience. As the largest radiation oncology provider in the U.S. and a global leader in cancer care, our broad experience and world-class expertise means we offer advanced and innovative radiotherapy as standard.

Our latest-generation machines are built to deliver highly targeted radiation beams. The accuracy of these treatments, together with the expertise of our teams, helps our patients achieve the best possible outcomes.

The type of bladder cancer treatment your radiation oncologist recommends will depend on your diagnosis, if the cancer has spread to other parts of your body, your general health and personal preferences.

Radiation therapy for bladder cancer

External beam radiation therapy (EBRT)

At GenesisCare our bladder cancer treatments include external beam radiation therapy (EBRT), where radiation is delivered from outside the body, and internal radiation therapy (IRT), where the radiation dose is given via a source implanted within the body.

Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT)

IMRT is an advanced external beam radiation therapy technique where the beams of radiation are precisely shaped to exactly match your tumor and damage to adjacent healthy tissues is limited.

Surface-guided radiation therapy

SGRT uses sophisticated 3D camera technology to help your radiation therapy care team to position you for treatment more accurately each day, without the need for permanent tattoos. The technology also monitors any unintended movements to might make during the treatment and will pause the radiation until you are back in the correct position.

High-dose-rate brachytherapy

HDR brachytherapy is an internal radiation therapy that delivers radioactive pellets to the tumor site through small plastic tubes called catheters. This is usually done in one session and the radioactive pellets are removed after 20 minutes.

Chapter 4

Medical oncology

At GenesisCare, we offer various drug therapies and a wide range of the latest anti-cancer drugs for bladder cancer treatment, including hormone therapy and chemotherapy.

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy refers to drugs that destroy cancer cells. These drugs can delivered to the tumor site through and vein in your arm (intravenous chemotherapy) or into the bladder through a catheter in your urethra (intravesical chemotherapy).

We use chemotherapy to help control your cancer’s growth, relieve symptoms and improve your bladder cancer prognosis. Our expert teams may recommend chemotherapy before or after other treatments, or on its own. It can be combined with radiation therapy (chemoradiation) before or after surgery.

Immunotherapy

Immunotherapy helps your body’s own immune system to recognize and fight the cancer. In bladder cancer, immunotherapy is used if your cancer has not spread from the bladder lining. Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) treatment is an immunotherapy that is delivered as a solution into your bladder through a catheter in the urethra.

Chapter 5

Why choose GenesisCare?

People choose GenesisCare so they can access the latest technologies, effective treatments and personalized care that’s tailored to them without delay.

Cancer treatment and care is constantly evolving and we offer the world’s latest evidence-based treatments that have been shown to benefit patients. By working together closely, our multidisciplinary teams of oncologists, urologists, radiation therapists and other healthcare specialists provide care that’s focused on you, not just your cancer.

We know that for many people, cancer is a life-changing experience and our goal is to help you through it in the most positive way possible. That’s why as well as offering exceptional cancer treatments, we also provide you with support and resources for your cancer journey—including advice about nutrition and exercise, expert help for managing side effects and information on local support groups.

Our centers are conveniently located throughout the United States, and each location has a dedicated Office Financial Counselor on hand to help you with your paperwork and answer your questions. We accept most insurance plans as well as Medicare Part B, which covers physician services, including radiation therapy.