Intravesical (In-Bladder) Therapy
Targets treatment of early-stage bladder cancer that has not spread into the muscle layer of the bladder. Chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and other anticancer drugs that kill cancer cells are administered directly to the bladder through a catheter. This reduces exposure of healthy tissue to these drugs. We are currently the only site in the U.S. to use heat (hyperthermia) to treat noninvasive bladder cancer.
The most common surgery for early-stage bladder cancer is performed daily here. It is easy on patients because no incision is needed as we guide a thin medical tube into the urethra (the natural channel that leads from outside the body to the bladder) and into the bladder, so that laser rays or electrical current can target and kill tumor cells and abnormal tissues.
Removes all or part of the bladder and is the most common treatment when bladder cancer spreads to the muscle layer.
Radical Cystectomy with Reconstruction
Removes your whole bladder, as well as nearby lymph nodes if cancer has spread. Your own intestinal tissue is used to replace your bladder. To ensure all cancer has been removed, this surgery normally involves removing the prostate gland in men. For women, it may include the removal of ovaries, fallopian tubes, uterus, and a small part of the vagina. Reconstruction includes the formation of a new passageway for urine to leave your body after your bladder is removed. This is called urinary diversion. We offer three options:
- Ileal conduit (urostomy): A small piece of intestine drains the urine into a bag on the abdomen.
- Right colon pouch (Indiana pouch): A piece of large intestine is used to create an internal urine reservoir that is drained by passing a catheter into the body every 3-4 hours.
- Neobladder (Studer bladder): A piece of small intestine is used to create an internal urine reservoir that is hooked into your urethra. This allows you to urinate normally.
Given before surgery and radiation if your bladder cancer has spread to the bladder muscle. Chemotherapy before surgery helps increase survival rates.
High-energy rays kill tumor cells. External radiation administered by a machine outside the body is most often used to treat bladder cancer. Radiation may be used as the main treatment for people who want to avoid bladder removal.