Bladder cancer is typically diagnosed through a combination of medical assessments and diagnostic tests. It often begins with a thorough medical history and physical examination by a healthcare professional to evaluate symptoms and risk factors.
The following tests may be done to diagnose bladder cancer:
- CT scan: x-ray imaging that shows detailed views of the abdominal and pelvic organs.
- Urinalysis: a test performed in the doctor’s office used to find blood in the urine
- Urine Cytology: detailed microscopic evaluation of the urine to look for cancer cells that may be present
- Cystoscopy: visualization of the inside of the bladder with an endoscope
- Bladder biopsy: usually done in the operating room, where suspicious areas are sampled to determine if cancer is present
Bladder cancer treatment typically depends on the stage of the cancer, the patient’s overall health, and other individual factors. Here is an overview of standard treatment options for bladder cancer:
Surgical procedures are often the primary treatment for bladder cancer. The type of surgery can vary based on the extent and location of the tumor.
Common surgical options include:
Transurethral resection of bladder tumor (TURBT)
A minimally invasive procedure to remove superficial tumors through the urethra.
Partial or radical cystectomy:
The removal of part or all of the bladder. Radical cystectomy may also involve the removal of nearby lymph nodes and organs if the cancer has spread.
Participation in clinical trials can provide access to new, cutting-edge treatments that may offer better outcomes for some patients.
It’s essential to discuss treatment options with a healthcare team to determine the best approach for a specific case. Additionally, patients may receive a combination of these treatments based on their unique circumstances. Regular follow-up care and monitoring are crucial to assess the effectiveness of treatment and manage any potential side effects or complications. Bladder cancer treatment plans should be personalized and may evolve over time based on the patient’s response to therapy and the cancer’s progression.