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Bladder Cancer Treatment by Stage

Bladder cancer treatment by stage depends on which of the six stages of bladder cancer the individual case falls within. The six stages of bladder cancer are stages 0 through IV and recurrent bladder cancer. In general, bladder cancer treatment by stage may include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and biological therapy. Other factors that affect bladder cancer treatment include the type of bladder cancer, the tumor grade, and the patient's age and general health.

Bladder Cancer Treatment by Stage: An Overview

Bladder cancer treatment options vary based on the stage of bladder cancer (see Bladder Cancer Staging).
 
There are six bladder cancer stages:
 
  • Stage 0
  • Stage I
  • Stage II
  • Stage III
  • Stage IV
  • Recurrent.
 
In general, bladder cancer treatment options can include:
 
Stage 0 Bladder Cancer (Carcinoma in Situ)
Treatment of stage 0 bladder cancer may include:
 
  • Transurethral resection (TUR) with fulguration
  • TUR with fulguration followed by intravesical biologic therapy or chemotherapy
  • Segmental cystectomy
  • Radical cystectomy.
     
Stage I Bladder Cancer
Treatment of stage I bladder cancer may include:
 
  • Transurethral resection (TUR) with fulguration
  • TUR with fulguration followed by intravesical biologic therapy or chemotherapy
  • Segmental or radical cystectomy
  • Radiation implants with or without external radiation therapy.
     
Stage II Bladder Cancer
Treatment of stage II bladder cancer may include:
 
  • Radical cystectomy with or without surgery to remove pelvic lymph nodes
  • Combination chemotherapy followed by radical cystectomy
  • External radiation therapy combined with chemotherapy
  • Radiation implants before or after external radiation therapy
  • Transurethral resection with fulguration
  • Segmental cystectomy.
     
Stage III Bladder Cancer
Treatment of stage III bladder cancer may include:
 
  • Radical cystectomy with or without surgery to remove pelvic lymph nodes
  • Combination chemotherapy followed by radical cystectomy
  • External radiation therapy combined with chemotherapy
  • External radiation therapy with radiation implants
  • Segmental cystectomy.
     
Stage IV Bladder Cancer
Treatment of stage IV bladder cancer may include:
 
  • Radical cystectomy
  • External radiation therapy as palliative therapy to relieve symptoms and improve quality of life
  • Urinary diversion as palliative therapy to relieve symptoms and improve quality of life
  • Cystectomy as palliative therapy to relieve symptoms and improve quality of life.
     
Treatment Options for Recurrent Bladder Cancer
Treatment of recurrent bladder cancer will depend on previous treatment and where the cancer has recurred. Treatment for recurrent bladder cancer may include:
 
  • Surgery
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation therapy.

 

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Bladder Cancer Treatments

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