Bladder Cancer - Treatment Overview
Home treatment measures may help you manage the side
effects. For more information, see Home Treatment.
Body image and sexual problems
Sexual problems can be caused by physical or psychological factors related to the cancer or its treatment. You may experience less sexual pleasure or lose your desire to be sexually intimate.
- Women who have the bladder removed (radical
cystectomy) will also have the
uterus removed. They cannot become pregnant and may
menopause soon after having the cystectomy.
- Men who have their prostate glands and seminal vesicles removed
may have erection problems and will no longer produce semen.
Your feelings about your body may change following
treatment for cancer. Managing body image issues may involve talking openly
about your concerns with your partner and discussing your feelings with your
doctor. Your doctor may also be able to refer you to groups that can offer
support and information.
Bladder cancer that comes back
After initial treatment for
bladder cancer, it is important to receive follow-up
care, because bladder cancer often comes back (recurs). Your doctor will set up a regular schedule of checkups and tests.
Bladder cancer may recur in the bladder, or it may spread (metastasize) to other parts of
the body. Recurrent bladder cancer may be treated with surgery or
chemotherapy to slow cancer growth and relieve
Participation in a
clinical trial may be recommended if you have been
diagnosed with recurrent bladder cancer.
Cancer treatment has two main goals: curing cancer and making your quality of life as good as possible. Palliative care can improve your quality of life by helping you manage your symptoms. It can also help you with other concerns that you may have when you are living with a serious illness.
For some people who have advanced cancer, a time comes when treatment to cure cancer no longer seems like a good choice. This can be because the side effects, time, and costs of treatment are greater than the promise of cure or relief. But this isn't the end of treatment. You and your doctor can decide when you may be ready for hospice care.
It can be hard to decide when to stop treatment aimed at prolonging your life and shift the focus to end-of-life care. For more information, see the topics: