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Bladder Cancer Treatment

Side Effects of Treatment for Bladder Cancer

Because bladder cancer treatment may damage healthy cells and tissues, unwanted side effects are common. Specific side effects will depend on many factors, including the type and extent of the treatment. Side effects may not be the same for each person, and they may even change from one treatment session to the next. Before treatment begins, healthcare providers will need to explain possible side effects and suggest ways to manage them.

Proper Nutrition and When Treating Bladder Cancer

It is important to eat well during and after treatment for bladder cancer because eating well may help patients feel better and have more energy. However, eating well can be hard, especially during or soon after treatment, when patients may be uncomfortable or tired. Side effects of treatment include poor appetite, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Also, patients may find that foods do not taste as good as they used to. A registered dietitian can suggest ways to deal with these side effects.

Clinical Trials of Bladder Cancer Treatment

Before treating bladder cancer, patients may want to think about taking part in a clinical trial. This is a research study that is meant to help improve current treatments or obtain information on new treatments for people with bladder cancer. When clinical trials show that a new treatment is better than the standard treatment, the new treatment may become the standard option.

The Role of Rehabilitation

Rehabilitation is an important part of bladder cancer care. The healthcare team should make every effort to help the affected person return to normal activities as soon as possible. People who have a stoma (an artificial opening made in an organ) will need to learn to care for it. Enterostomal therapists or nurses can help by:
  • Visiting patients before bladder cancer surgery to discuss what to expect
  • Teaching patients how to care for themselves and their stomas after surgery
  • Talking with patients about lifestyle issues, including emotional, physical, and sexual concerns
  • Providing information about resources and support groups.
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