The most common way to remove a bladder tumor is through surgery, according to the American Cancer Society. Surgery is used, sometimes in combinations with other treatments, in nearly all cases. Additional treatments include chemotherapy, radiation therapy and intravesical therapy.
The type of treatment chosen for bladder cancer is usually determined, at least in part, by the stage of the disease, the American Cancer Society states. Early-stage tumors can be removed through surgery, but often tumors return without additional treatment. About half of all stage I bladder cancer patients experience a recurrence.
To prevent recurrence, patients and their doctors may decide to remove the entire bladder, the American Cancer Society explains. Because removing the bladder has major side effects, patients may choose to receive additional treatments if those options are open to them. Stage I patients sometimes receive intravesical therapy to help prevent cancer reoccurring.
Stage II bladder cancer usually requires removing the bladder and sometimes nearby lymph nodes, the American Cancer Society states. If only part of the bladder is cancerous, surgeons may choose to remove only the diseased section. Some physicians prescribe chemotherapy before surgery.
Patients with stage III or IV bladder cancer usually have their bladder surgically removed, the American Cancer Society reports. Chemotherapy may be used before or after surgery, and radiation therapy may be implemented as well. When bladder cancer recurs, physicians also tend to recommend chemotherapy and radiation therapy.