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BCG Bladder Cancer Treatment

Biological therapy is combined with BCG to treat bladder cancer by killing cancer cells. BCG stands for bacillus Calmette-Guerin solution. It contains weakened bacteria that stimulate the immune system to kill cancer cells in the bladder. This treatment is usually done once a week for six weeks. Side effects can include irritation of the bladder, an urgent need to urinate, and the need to urinate frequently.

BCG for Bladder Cancer Treatment: An Overview

Biological treatment for bladder cancer uses the body's immune system to fight cancer. This is also called biotherapy or immunotherapy.
 
This form of treatment is most often used after transurethral resection (TUR) for superficial bladder cancer. This helps prevent the cancer from coming back.
 
(Click Bladder Cancer Treatment for more information about other options for bladder cancer.)
 
The doctor may use intravesical biological therapy with bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) solution. This solution contains live, weakened bacteria that stimulate the immune system to kill cancer cells in the bladder. The doctor will use a catheter (a thin, flexible tube) to put the solution in the bladder, and the patient will need to hold the solution in the bladder for about two hours. BCG bladder cancer treatment is usually done once a week for six weeks.
 

Side Effects of Treating Bladder Cancer With BCG

Side effects of bladder cancer treatment with BCG may include:
 
  • Irritation of the bladder
  • An urgent need to urinate
  • The need to urinate frequently
  • Pain, especially when urinating
  • Fatigue
  • Blood in the urine
  • Nausea
  • A low-grade fever
  • Chills.
     
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