The choice of treatment and the
long-term outcome (prognosis) for people who have
bladder cancer depend on the
stage and grade of cancer. When deciding about your treatment, your doctor also considers your age, overall
health, and quality of life.
Bladder cancer has a better chance of being treated successfully if it is found early.
Note: Some citations in the text of this section are followed by a level of evidence. The PDQ editorial boards use a formal ranking system to help the reader judge the strength of evidence linked to the reported results of a therapeutic strategy. (Refer to the PDQ summary on Levels of Evidence for more information.)
Stage 0 bladder cancer is defined by the following TNM classifications:
Ta, N0, M0
Tis, N0, M0
Patients with stage 0 bladder tumors can be cured by a variety of treatments,...
Surgery to remove the cancer. Surgery,
either alone or along with other treatments, is used in more than 9 out of 10 cases.1 For more information, see Surgery.
destroy cancer cells using medicines. Chemotherapy may be given before or after
surgery. For more information, see Medications.
Radiation therapy to destroy cancer cells using
high-dose X-rays or other high-energy rays. Radiation therapy may also be given
before or after surgery and may be given at the same time as
chemotherapy. For more information, see Other Treatment.
Immunotherapy. This treatment causes your body's natural
defenses, known as your
immune system, to attack bladder cancer cells. For more information, see Medications.
When you first find out that you have cancer, you may feel scared or angry. Or you may feel very calm. It's normal to have a wide range of feelings and for those feelings to change quickly. Some people find that it helps to talk about their feelings with family and friends.
If your emotional reaction to cancer gets in the way of your ability to make decisions about your health, it's important to talk with your doctor. Your cancer treatment center may offer psychological or financial services. And a local chapter of the American Cancer Society can help you find a support group.
For more information about specific bladder cancer treatments, see the
Most treatments for bladder
cancer cause side effects. Side effects may differ, depending on the type of
treatment used and your age and overall health.
Side effects of chemotherapy may
include loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, mouth sores, or hair
loss. There is also an increased chance of getting a serious infection during
Mitomycin may cause skin peeling or a
Side effects of surgery depend on how extensive your
surgery was to treat the stage of your cancer. Men may have erection problems
after surgery if the bladder is removed (cystectomy). If you choose a surgeon
who does many of these procedures, you will have fewer side effects and you
will recover faster.
Side effects of radiation may include
nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, pain or discomfort when urinating, and bladder
inflammation and scarring (radiation cystitis). You may also have an increased
risk of infection.