Options available for bladder cancer treatment Bladder cancer can be treated through chemotherapy, surgery, radiation therapy and biological therapy. A combination of different treatments may be given at times. A number of things will determine the most appropriate treatment for you, including:

  • Where the tumor is located in the bladder.
  • If the tissues or muscle layer outside the bladder have been invaded by the tumor
  • If other body parts are affected by the tumor
  • Grade of tumor
  • General health and your age.

Surgery to treat bladder cancer

A couple of surgeries exist for treating bladder cancer and you should discuss this with your surgeon. Transurethral resection is used for treating bladder cancer when at its early stages. After the surgery, the doctor may recommend biological therapy or chemo to avoid re-infection. Open surgery involves the surgeon making an incision right into your body. Partial cystectomy is done if only a part of the bladder is affected and radical cystectomy where the entire bladder is infected. After surgery, it will take some time to get healed completely and you might feel tired or weak for a while.


Drugs are used for killing the cancerous cells and can be used for treating bladder cancer either after or before surgery. Chemo might be given in different ways such as into the bladder, by mouth or into a vein. The treatment could be given as an outpatient, at your home or doctor’s office. The treatment is given in cycles whereby after a treatment period, a rest period follows. Chemo is known to have various side effects, which depend on the administration of the drugs.

Biological therapy

Biological therapy is given for people whose bladder cancer is in its early stages. The treatment provided is the BCG solution which is usually a liquid that contains weakened bacteria. This bacterium provides the body with the natural defenses that call the cancerous cells in your bladder. After treatment, you should expect to feel unusually tired. In addition, the BCG solution is known to cause bladder irritation. You could be feeling to empty the bladder urgently and the emptying could be done more often. Pain could also be felt when it comes to emptying the bladder and the urine could have some blood, you feel a fever, chills or nausea.


Radiation therapy

With this treatment, high energy rays are used for killing the cancer cells and the treatment could be availed after surgery. If the cancer has invaded the bladder’s muscle layer, radiation therapy is given together with chemotherapy. A large machine produces the radiation and the beads of radiation are aimed right at the bladder. Even though this procedure is painless, it has its share of side effects such as vomiting, nausea or diarrhea. During the therapy, you might also feel very tired. Your doctor will suggest possible ways of controlling or treating such side effects.