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What is the treatment for bladder cancer?

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Quick Answer

Some of the treatments for bladder cancer include surgical techniques, immunotherapy, chemotherapy and radiotherapy, according to Mayo Clinic. The type of treatment patients undergoes depends on the staging of their cancer.

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What is the treatment for bladder cancer?
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Full Answer

Patients suffering from bladder cancer receive treatments based on the disease's progress, Mayo Clinic states. For example, those who have localized cancer may need a transurethral resection that removes the tumor only, while those who have more advanced cancer may need their bladder removed entirely. Other treatments are available for those who need a full bladder removal, including techniques that produce alternative ways for urine to leave the bladder.

Radiotherapy, chemotherapy and immunotherapies are also available, Mayo Clinic claims. Patients receiving chemotherapy for bladder cancer usually have two drugs, which aim to shrink and kill the cancer cells. These can be used before or after surgery with the aim of reducing the cells' presence to make procedures easier or to remove those left behind following an operation.

Those receiving radiation therapy benefit from a machine that targets the cancerous area directly, and this treatment may be combined with surgery and radiotherapy. Immunotherapy encourages the immune system to kill the cancer cells. This includes immune-stimulating bacteria, which cause side effects like blood in the urine. Doctors can also introduce interferons, which target the cancer cells.

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