Bladder cancer treatments include surgery, intravesical therapy, chemotherapy and radiation, notes the American Cancer Society. Sometimes doctors use multiple treatments for the same case, but surgery is almost always part of the plan. Each patient's diagnosis, staging and prognosis can differ, leading to unique treatment plans.
Surgery is often successful at removing bladder tumors at an early stage, states the American Cancer Society. However, it is possible for cancer to return in other areas of the bladder as time goes by. Taking out the whole bladder is one solution, but the side effects can be considerable. In any event, once the initial cancer is removed, it is important to remain vigilant about that area of the body, as cancers may recur.
Treating bladder cancer involves many different medical specialists, according to the American Cancer Society. Radiation oncologists, medical oncologists (who use chemotherapy and other medicines) and urologists, who focus on conditions of the male reproductive system and urinary system, are generally all part of the treatment team. Along with physician assistants, nurse practitioners, nurses, therapists and rehabilitation specialists, the team puts together an individualized treatment plan for each patient. Because each treatment has its own benefits, side effects and risks, the patient's collaboration is crucial in devising a treatment plan.