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Overview

Bladder Cancer: Treatment, Cost and Side Effects

What is the Bladder Cancer? How is the Bladder Cancer treatment done? Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?) Who is not eligible for the treatment? Are there any side effects? What are the post-treatment guidelines? How long does it take to recover? What is the price of the treatment in India? Are the results of the treatment permanent? What are the alternatives to the treatment?

What is the Bladder Cancer?

Bladder, or specifically urinary bladder, is a flexible, hollow pouch like structure present within the pelvis and is concerned with the storage of urine prior to its excretion. Urine, which is prepared by the kidneys, is carried to the bladder through the ureters. The bladder stores this urine and later discharges it through a tube like structure known as the urethra.

Bladder cancer is defined as a condition characterised mainly by rapid and uncontrolled growth of cancerous cells within the urinary bladder. This condition usually initiates within the lining of the bladder and may later spread into the muscular wall of the urinary bladder. Moreover, invasive bladder cancer may spread to lymph nodes, kidneys, lungs, liver and other organs present in the pelvis.

Bladder cancer, though rare (accounting to about 5% of all cancers), is seen affect males more frequently than females. The actual reason for the development of bladder cancer is still unknown to doctors. However, the possible risk factors that may lead to such a condition include genetic constitution or family history, chronic inflammation of the bladder, smoking, certain medications for treating diabetes, exposure to harmful chemicals, prior chemotherapy or radiation treatment and others.

The common symptoms of bladder cancer involve pelvic pain, blood in urine (haematuria), pain during urination. In addition to this, the patients may also experience symptoms like frequent urination, swollen feet, sudden weight loss, loss of appetite, back pain and others. It is highly recommended for people having such symptoms to consult their doctor, as soon as possible.

A systematic and successful diagnosis is a pre-requisite for the treatment of bladder cancer. The doctor may ask questions regarding the patient’s medical history and family history regarding cases of bladder cancer. This is followed by several physical examinations, laboratory tests and imaging tests. Once a patient is diagnosed as having bladder cancer, he/she is accordingly treated depending upon the severity of the condition.

How is the Bladder Cancer treatment done?

As already mentioned, the treatment of bladder cancer requires proper diagnosis in the first place. The doctor may feel it necessary to know about the medical history and family history of the patient, in order to be sure whether the cause of this condition is due to genetic reasons.

Diagnosis of bladder cancer involves physical examinations like pelvic examination and digital rectal examination. If the doctor finds the occurrence of any tumour then he/she may recommend or further laboratory and imaging tests. Such laboratory tests include urine tests (such as urinalysis, urine culture, urine cytology and urine tumour marker tests) and cystoscopy. If the doctor finds a tumour during such a test, then he/she may recommend for a surgery known as transurethral resection of bladder tumour (TURBT), where the tumour and a part of the bladder muscle near it is removed. A sample of the tumour is sent for biopsy in order to be sure whether it is cancer. The various imaging tests used for the diagnosis of bladder cancer include intravenous pyelogram, retrograde pyelogram, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computed tomography (CT) scan, ultrasound imaging, bone scan and chest scan. Once the patient is diagnosed as having bladder cancer, he/she is treated depending upon the severity of the condition.

The treatment of bladder cancer involves surgery, immunotherapy, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Surgery involves removal of the tumour and a part of the muscles near it and this method is referred to as transurethral resection of bladder tumour (TURBT). Another method called “cystectomy” involves partial or complete removal of the bladder. Other treatments like immunotherapy, chemotherapy and radiation therapy aim at killing the harmful cancerous cells. It is important to remember that there is no complete cure for bladder cancer. Treatment can be done only to prevent or reduce the possible symptoms that the patient suffers from, during this condition.

Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)

Any person having symptoms like pelvic pain, blood in urine (haematuria), pain during urination, frequent urination, swollen feet, sudden weight loss, loss of appetite, back pain and is diagnosed to be suffering from bladder cancer, is considered to be eligible for this treatment. It is always recommended that a person, having such symptoms, should contact his/her doctor as soon as possible and should go for the necessary treatment procedures.

Who is not eligible for the treatment?

Any person, who is normal and is not suffering from the symptoms of bladder cancer, is considered as not eligible for this treatment.

Are there any side effects?

Similar to other cancer treatments, the treatment for bladder cancer also has its side effects. However, the intensity of these side effects varies according to the treatment procedure undertaken. The side effects for surgical treatments like radical cystectomy and segmental cystectomy involve interruption of the patient’s sexual function, sudden menopause and inability to get pregnant (in women), increased frequency in urination and inability to hold urine for a long time. Other side effects of treatment involving immunotherapy, chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy include nausea, vomiting, discomfort during urination, diarrhoea, vaginal dryness (for women), erectile problems (in men), loss of hair, loss of appetite, weakness, mouth sores, low grade fever or chills and others. It is recommended that the patients should consult with their doctor, if they happen to suffer from any of these side effects, during the course of treatment.

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

The treatment for bladder cancer may require months or even years for its completion. However, the patient still needs to go through several follow up examinations every few months for a number of years. The patient should attend all the follow up treatments as directed by his/her doctor and go for regular chemotherapy and radiation therapy along with other physical examinations. This should be done in order to check the possibilities of reoccurrence of cancer, as well as the probable side effects of such treatments. Almost all cancer treatments have their side effects and so it is important that the patient must inform his/her doctor regarding this issue and seek the necessary remedial measures.

How long does it take to recover?

Unfortunately, there is no cure for bladder cancer, but the symptoms can be managed by surgical treatment as well as radiation therapy and chemotherapy. The life span of the patients, who have been diagnosed as having this problem, mainly depends upon the severity of the condition and the type of treatment that he/she is undergoing. On an average, the treatment for bladder cancer may take months or years for its completion.

What is the price of the treatment in India?

The price of the treatment for bladder cancer usually varies in different parts of India. The treatment cost may also vary depending upon the severity of the condition and the type of treatment that the patient undergoes. On an average, the price of treatment for bladder cancer ranges from Rs. 12,85,635 to Rs. 27,44,409. This treatment is available in almost all leading hospitals in India.

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

The results of the treatment for bladder cancer are not permanent and there lies a chance for the cancer to reoccur after a certain period of time. Since complete cure for this problem is not available, it is highly recommended that the patient should go for regular check-ups, chemotherapy, radiation therapy and other tests in order to check the progress of such a cancer.

What are the alternatives to the treatment?

There are no such alternatives for the treatment of bladder cancer. Surgery, immunotherapy, radiation therapy and chemotherapy are regarded as the best methods of treatment for this problem. However, after surgery, treatment with mistletoe extracts has been proven to be effective in reducing tumour recurrence. Mistletoe extracts have been found to act upon the proteins that affect cancer and can be used for patients with malignancies, during the initial stages. Later stages of such cancers can be quite complicated and cannot be effectively cured.

Popular Questions & Answers

My age is 27, weight 82 kg, unmarried.i was in uttar pradesh. I came to my home on 21st march and from 23rd I was feeling light increase of temp in head i.e was 99f. Then on 27 march you got sore throat (like something stuck in throat) and also my sternum sides are paining on body movement. U went to government hospital many times and they did xray and xray was normal and also took antibiotics for sore throat but still not resolved. On 29 may I got high fever 104f for 3 days and was having burning in penis after urination and also pain at tip of penis ,it was continued for 3 days and fever was not coming down with paracetamol. My urine report on 1 june was pus cell 18-25, rbc 10-12, bacteria 1+,albumin 1+ and blood report on 1st june was lymphocyte 10%, platelet 1.25thou/cumm (range 1.5 to 4, tlc was 4.then doctor gave me mefenamic acid and some antibiotics like nitrofurantoin and ofloxacin for 15 days. But after that I was feeling like shooting pain radiating from penis to rectum. On 1 july I visited urologist again, there junior resident ordered usg abdomen and it shows normal study and prostate size 21 cc. Then he sent to me general surgeon to check piles but it was normal as they checked with metal probe .on 7 july and 13 july I got bleeding in semen. Semen was fully mixed with blood. And I was also having hips pain, hips connecting to femur point pain, femur pain, thighs pain and legs pain, feet frontal part pain and hands frontal part pain, leg pain and also getting chills many times. On 14 aug, my vitamin d was 75 (range 74 to 215) but it is same since 2015. And blood report show lymphocyte 26%,platelet 2.34lakh and tlc 5 (range 5 to 10. On 14 aug 2020, my serum psa came 2.06 ng/ml but in 2016, it was 0.77 ng/ml. within 4 years it has increased 3 times. On 26august I went to urologist but my maine issues were to go to him to interrelated the cause of my bones pain as I saw blood in semen as first sign of problem. He did semen analysis showing 10-12 pus cell, and trus prostate showing "prostate volume 14. 8 cc. The prostate is normal in size, shape and shows ill defined parenchymal areas if increased echogenicity mainly limited to the anterior stromal zone and transitional zone of the prostate. The echogenic areas are seen extending and surrounding the opening of ejaculatory ducts on both side and there is preserved zonal differentiation noted in both lobes elsewhere" possibility of chronic prostatitis needs to be ruled out" I also had trus prostate in 2017, at that time prostate was normal having 13. 5 cc size (it was done in 2016 due to frequent urination problem. He gave me antibiotics for 21 days i.e oflox 400 mg (bd), alfuzosin 10 mg (od. 8 days after taking these antibiotics again I got blood in semen on 2 sep and 3 sep. My mai problem is that my whole body bones are paining i.e hips bone ,femur bone ,back of hips where it connect to femur near rectum, thighs pain, legs pain, feet pain (not able to walk properly, rib cage pain, chest frontal part pain ,teeth pain, having too much weakness in thighs and legs ,shoulder joints also started to pain since 6 days, hands pain above elbow, I get chills sometimes in these hot summer at back of lungs. My weakness intensity increasing on daily basis. Withing these two months pain acquired my whole body. My feet are paining too much and having weakness in hands too like somebody get tired after too much work. My sore throat (like something stuck in throat) not going even after showing to ent 2 or 3 times, they are saying it might be due to acid reflux without checking anything, they are not seeing properly. I do not feel they I have that much acid reflux to cause problem. With the intensity of increasing problem and sudden onset of whole body bone pain and burning sensation and specially too much weakness in femur and bone pain in hips bone connecting point, I assumed that I became prostate cancer patient though it is very rare at this age but I am not getting any solution to my problem even after showing to good urologist. Please guide me sir what to do?

MS - Obstetrics and Gynaecology, MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery
Gynaecologist, Shimla
I am sorry to hear about your concern but will be happy to assist you. A burning sensation is a type of pain that's distinct from dull, stabbing, or aching pain. A burning pain is often related to nerve problems. However, there are many other poss...

Mam mere cyst k course complete hone k bad meee cyst nhii h hmne 6 month tak normoz lye or 3 month tk krimson 35li uske bad cyst remove nhi guy fur doc ne mere solution l start krayu wo 3 month khane k bad sub shi ho gya per mere period cycle irregular ho gye to kya ye medicine k side effect h ya doc ko dikhana chahiye.

MS - Obstetrics and Gynaecology, MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, Senior residency Obstetrics & Gynaecology
Gynaecologist, Ludhiana
Dear Lybrate user, cyst formation occurs due to hormonal imbalance in some cases and its very common to see asymptomatic cysts accidentally noticed while getting routine ultrasound done. For small (<3 cm) simple cysts, no treatment needs to be don...
1 person found this helpful

Sir madam yesterday I have done colonoscopy procedure. Aur cea b kiya 2.68 aya caecum single polypoidal mass occluding whole of the circumference. Overlying mucosa is erythematous and edematous. Surrounding mucosa is norma. Impression: polypoidal cecal mass-? Nature biopsy done. It means cancer.

MBBS, MS - Oncology, MCh-Head and Neck Surgical Oncology, MCh - Surgical Gastroenterology/G.I. Surgery, MCh (Gyneco-oncological oncology), FRCS - Thoracic Surgery
Oncologist, Mangalore
Biopsy suggestive of cancer, but we need to know what type of cancer it is. As treatment depends on type of cancer in caecum. Need to do cect abdomen and thorax/pet ct depending on feasibility and affordability for staging purpose (pet ct is not m...
1 person found this helpful

Hi sir, I am 31 years old, one and half year ago got c sectioned. Now I am suffering from urinary problem. I am unable to control urine as soon as I feel. Its leaking what shall I do.

MD - Obstetrtics & Gynaecology, FMAS, DMAS, Fellowship in Assisted Reproductive technology, MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery
Gynaecologist, Burhanpur
Hello, you are likely suffering from urinary tract infection. Please rule that out first with a urine routine microscopy test.
1 person found this helpful

I am a prostate cancer patient taking abirapro 250 mg, and omnacordine 5 mg daily, now I am suffering from cough and cold, local doctor said to take predmet 8 mg, I have taken 2 tablets for 1 day, now i'm feeling less urination and mild pain in the right backside of my body nearby kidney. Should I continue the medicine or stop it right now.

MD- General Physician-RU- Equi. MBBS, Diploma in Laryngology & otology
ENT Specialist, Hyderabad
Please get a full bladder fasting ultrasound abdomen and pelvis and e- gfr, s. Creatnine, b. Urea done snd meanwhile refer to the nearest nephrologist.

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