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What is intravesical therapy to treat bladder cancer?

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Intravesical therapy

This treatment is used for early-stage cancers. Your doctor uses a catheter to inject a liquid medication right into your bladder. He’ll choose between two different types of medications -- immunotherapy or chemotherapy.

  • Immunotherapy. In this method, your body’s own immune system attacks the cancer cells. Your doctor will inject a germ called Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) into your bladder through a catheter. This germ is related to the one that causes tuberculosis. This draws your body’s immune cells to your bladder. There, they’re activated by the BCG and begin to fight the cancer cells. Your doctor may start this treatment a few weeks after you have a TURBT.
  • Intravesical chemotherapy. If your doctor and you decide on this treatment, he’ll inject cancer-fighting medications into your bladder through a catheter. The chemotherapy works to kill the harmful cells.
  • Systemic chemotherapy. Your doctor will give you chemotherapy through an IV. That means the medication travels through your bloodstream to other parts of your body. It can kill cancer cells that may have spread beyond your bladder.

SOURCES:

American Cancer Society: “Bladder Cancer Treatment,” “Bladder Cancer Surgery,” “Radiation Therapy for Bladder Cancer.”

National Cancer Institute: “Bladder Cancer Treatment (PDQ®)” -- Patient Version.

American Society of Clinical Oncology: “Bladder Cancer: Treatment Options.”

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson on July 25, 2018

WAS THIS ANSWER HELPFUL

SOURCES:

American Cancer Society: “Bladder Cancer Treatment,” “Bladder Cancer Surgery,” “Radiation Therapy for Bladder Cancer.”

National Cancer Institute: “Bladder Cancer Treatment (PDQ®)” -- Patient Version.

American Society of Clinical Oncology: “Bladder Cancer: Treatment Options.”

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson on July 25, 2018

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