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What is the Treatment for Bladder Cancer?

Discover bladder cancer treatment methods: surgery, chemotherapy, targeted therapy, and immunotherapy for effective management and recurrence prevention.

  • 09 Feb 2024
  • 3 min read

Bladder cancer is a common type of cancer that begins in the lining of the bladder, which is a small hollow organ in the lower abdomen that stores urine. There are many moethods to treat bladder cancer, including surgery, chemotherapies and radiation therapy. People living with bladder cancer, or those who have been treated for it, should be vigilant about following up with their healthcare providers to avoid reoccurrence cases. In this article, we’ll explore the main forms of bladder cancer treatment.


Treatment of Bladder Cancer

The latest developments and innovations in the field of science have led scientists to treat cancer if detected at an early stage based on the symptoms, clinical examination, overall health, and personal preference for treatment. Bladder cancer treatment involves therapies like:

1. Surgery

Surgery is the main form of bladder cancer treatment. This procedure depends on the location of the cancer cells. Sometimes, a patient is given chemotherapy before surgery to shrink the tumor, which reduces the amount of tissue that will be removed during surgery This is called preoperative therapy. In some cases, treatment is given after surgery to lower the risk of cancer reoccurrence, the therapy is known as adjuvant therapy. 

The surgeries to treat bladder cancer are:

  • Transurethral resection (TUR) with fulguration

This procedure is used for the diagnosis and staging of cancer where a doctor will insert a cystoscope (a thin tube with a wire loop on the end) into the bladder to remove the cancer cells or to burn the tumour away with high-energy electricity. 

  • Partial cystectomy

Partial cystectomy is done in patients who have low-grade cancer, where a part of the bladder is removed to treat the patient. After this procedure, the patients can urinate normally after recovering from this surgery. 

  • Radical cystectomy 

Radical cystectomy is done when the cancer cells have invaded the lymph nodes and nearby cells including a large part of the bladder. When the bladder is completely removed, the surgeon performs one more procedure named urinary diversion to create another way for the person to store and pass urine. 

2. Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy in the bladder or intravesical chemotherapy is performed to treat cancers that are not only confined to the lining of the bladder but may also have a high risk of recurrence in higher stages. Chemotherapy for the whole body, or systemic chemotherapy, is performed when primary treatment isn’t an option.

3. Targeted Drug Therapy

Targeted therapy utilizes drugs and other substances to target cancer cells by targeted therapy which is done using anti-angiogenic agents that block blood vessels and shrink them to enter the tumour. Such techniques are used after surgical procedures. The drug erdafitinib is mostly used to perform targeted therapy which stops the action of protein found in cancer cells that helps them grow.

4. Immunotherapy

This therapy enables our immune system to fight bladder cancer by restoring our body's natural defense mechanism and using immunotherapies like interferon alpha or interleukin-2. and standard immunotherapy drugs like BCG. These drugs are placed directly into the bladder through a catheter. This therapy is done to treat the advanced stage of bladder cancer where standard treatments are not responding.

Also read:


Bladder cancer is a serious condition, but effective treatments are available. Everyone should seek medical help right away if they experience any discomfort or pain in the bladder area. It’s also important to have good health insurance coverage that will cover treatment of this serious malady. If you are uninsured or covered by an inadequate plan, it is vital to find better coverage as soon as possible so that should the necessity arise, you have access to top quality medical care. 

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