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A patient’s bladder cancer treatment options will depend on several factors. An oncologist will consider the size and stage of the cancer, the patient’s previous treatment history and the unique molecular makeup of the tumor before making a recommendation.

In most cases, bladder cancer treatment involves one or more of the following options:

  • Chemotherapy, which uses potent medications to destroy cancerous cells
  • Radiation therapy, which uses high-energy radiation to kill cancerous cells
  • Intravesical therapy, which delivers a liquid medication directly into the bladder
  • Surgery, which strives to remove cancerous cells from the body

Several different types of surgery may be used, depending on the patient’s specific situation. For instance, a surgeon may recommend a segmental cystectomy for a patient with low-grade cancer; during this procedure, the cancerous part of the bladder is removed. If the cancer is more advanced, the surgeon may complete a radical cystectomy, in which the entire bladder and any cancerous lymph nodes/nearby organs are removed. When the bladder is removed, the surgeon may also perform a urinary diversion procedure to create a new way for the body to store and pass urine. A transurethral resection (TUR) with fulguration, in which the surgeon burns the tumor away with high-energy electricity, may be recommended as an alternative.

With an ever-deepening understanding of bladder cancer and more and more effective treatment options, we will soon be able to offer patients dynamic, personalized treatment courses to help keep their bladders, while keeping the disease at bay.

Some patients may also consider enrolling in a clinical trial to access bladder cancer treatments that are still not yet widely available, such as immunotherapies and biological therapies. At Moffitt Cancer Center, we are known for hosting an extensive range of clinical trials, enabling our patients to try groundbreaking therapies as soon as they become available.

Whether or not you participate in a clinical trial, you can feel confident that you’re receiving the most innovative treatments possible when you come to Moffitt. We provide many different bladder cancer therapies under one roof, giving you a more streamlined experience, and our multispecialty team will coordinate every aspect of your care. You’ll be seen by a collaborative group of oncologists who all specialize in bladder cancer, and you’ll have access to a number of supportive services to ensure that all of your needs are met throughout your treatment.

check mark symbol Medically reviewed by Scott Gilbert, MD, Genitourinary Oncology Program.

Contact us to learn more about receiving bladder cancer treatment at Moffitt. No referral is required; call 1-888-663-3488 or submit your new patient registration form online.

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