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Bladder Cancer Treatment (PDQ®): Treatment - Health Professional Information [NCI] - Treatment Option Overview

Prolonged survival in most patients with superficial cancers is achieved by transurethral resection (TUR) with or without intravesical chemotherapy. Cure is not possible for the majority of patients with deeply invasive tumors and for most patients with regional or distant metastases. In North America, the standard treatment of patients with invasive bladder cancers is radical cystectomy and urinary diversion. Other treatment approaches include TUR and segmental resection with or without radiation therapy, combined chemotherapy-radiation therapy, or either followed by salvage cystectomy, when needed, for local failure.

Many newly diagnosed bladder cancer patients are candidates for participation in a clinical trial. Clinical trials include studies of chemoprevention of superficial disease, adjuvant chemotherapy for advanced local or regional disease, preservation of bladder function with chemotherapy-radiation therapy, and development of more effective systemic therapy and methods of palliation for metastatic tumors.[1,2,3,4,5,6]

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Bladder Cancer Clinical Trials

Major drug companies continually research and develop new medications and treatments for bladder cancer, which must be shown to be safe and effective before doctors can prescribe them to patients. Through clinical trials, researchers test the effects of new drugs on a group of volunteers with bladder cancer. Following a strict protocol and using carefully controlled conditions, researchers evaluate the investigational drugs under development and measure the ability of the new drug to treat bladder...

Read the Bladder Cancer Clinical Trials article > >

Reconstructive techniques that fashion low-pressure storage reservoirs from the reconfigured small and large bowel eliminate the need for external drainage devices and, in some male patients, allow voiding per urethra. These techniques are designed to improve the quality of life for patients who require cystectomy.[7]


  1. Thrasher JB, Crawford ED: Current management of invasive and metastatic transitional cell carcinoma of the bladder. J Urol 149 (5): 957-72, 1993.
  2. Housset M, Maulard C, Chretien Y, et al.: Combined radiation and chemotherapy for invasive transitional-cell carcinoma of the bladder: a prospective study. J Clin Oncol 11 (11): 2150-7, 1993.
  3. Kachnic LA, Kaufman DS, Heney NM, et al.: Bladder preservation by combined modality therapy for invasive bladder cancer. J Clin Oncol 15 (3): 1022-9, 1997.
  4. Lamm DL, Riggs DR, Shriver JS, et al.: Megadose vitamins in bladder cancer: a double-blind clinical trial. J Urol 151 (1): 21-6, 1994.
  5. Raghavan D, Huben R: Management of bladder cancer. Curr Probl Cancer 19 (1): 1-64, 1995 Jan-Feb.
  6. Sauer R, Birkenhake S, Kühn R, et al.: Efficacy of radiochemotherapy with platin derivatives compared to radiotherapy alone in organ-sparing treatment of bladder cancer. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 40 (1): 121-7, 1998.
  7. Hautmann RE, Miller K, Steiner U, et al.: The ileal neobladder: 6 years of experience with more than 200 patients. J Urol 150 (1): 40-5, 1993.

WebMD Public Information from the National Cancer Institute

Last Updated: February 25, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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