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Exploring Bladder Cancer Treatments

Dr. Obaid Ur Rehman

2 min read

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Bladder cancer is a type of cancer that occurs in the lining of the bladder, which is the organ responsible for storing urine.

The treatment of bladder cancer depends on various factors, including the stage of the cancer, the grade of the tumor, the overall health of the patient, and their preferences. In this article, we will explore the different treatment options available for bladder cancer.

1. Surgery

Surgery is a common treatment option for bladder cancer and can involve different approaches based on the stage and extent of the disease. Transurethral resection of bladder tumor (TURBT) is a minimally invasive procedure used for early-stage bladder cancer.

During TURBT, the surgeon removes the tumor through the urethra using a cystoscope. In more advanced cases, partial or radical cystectomy might be necessary, where a portion or the entire bladder is removed, respectively. In some cases, removal of nearby lymph nodes might also be required.

2. Chemotherapy:

Chemotherapy involves the use of drugs to kill cancer cells or stop their growth. It can be used before or after surgery. In cases where the cancer has spread beyond the bladder lining, chemotherapy might be administered prior to surgery to shrink the tumor and make it more manageable to remove.

Additionally, chemotherapy given after surgery (adjuvant chemotherapy) can help prevent the recurrence of cancer. For individuals who are not candidates for surgery, chemotherapy might be used as the primary treatment.

3. Radiation Therapy:

Radiation therapy utilizes high-energy rays to target and destroy cancer cells. It can be delivered externally or internally. External beam radiation is directed at the bladder from outside the body, while internal radiation, also known as brachytherapy, involves placing a radioactive source directly into or near the tumor. Radiation therapy is often used in combination with other treatments or when surgery is not a suitable option.

4. Immunotherapy:

Immunotherapy is a relatively new approach to treating bladder cancer that aims to stimulate the body’s immune system to recognize and attack cancer cells. Immune checkpoint inhibitors, such as pembrolizumab and atezolizumab, have shown promise in treating advanced bladder cancer. These drugs target proteins that suppress immune responses, allowing the immune system to better attack cancer cells.

5. Targeted Therapy:

Targeted therapy is a type of treatment that focuses on specific molecules involved in cancer growth. In bladder cancer, certain drugs are used to target specific genetic mutations or protein overexpressions that are present in some cases of advanced bladder cancer.

6. Intravesical Therapy:

Intravesical therapy involves delivering medication directly into the bladder via a catheter. This treatment is often used for non-invasive bladder cancer that has a high risk of recurrence. Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) is a type of immunotherapy commonly used in this approach. It triggers an immune response within the bladder, which can help prevent cancer from returning or progressing.

7. Clinical Trials:

Clinical trials are research studies that evaluate new treatments or combinations of treatments. They play a crucial role in advancing the field of bladder cancer treatment. Participating in a clinical trial can give patients access to cutting-edge therapies that might not be available through standard treatment options.

8. Palliative Care:

In cases where bladder cancer is advanced and curative treatments are no longer effective, palliative care comes into focus. Palliative care aims to improve the quality of life for patients by managing symptoms and providing emotional and psychological support. This can be an important aspect of care for individuals with advanced bladder cancer.


The treatment of bladder cancer is a complex process that depends on various factors. It’s important for patients to work closely with their medical team to determine the most suitable treatment plan for their specific situation. From surgery and chemotherapy to immunotherapy and targeted therapy, there are a variety of options available to address different stages and types of bladder cancer.

Additionally, participating in clinical trials can provide access to innovative treatments that have the potential to further improve outcomes for individuals with bladder cancer.

For more information refer to a urologist near you. You can book appointments with the best urologists in Pakistan through oladoc.com.

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are intended to raise awareness about common health issues and should not be viewed as sound medical advice for your specific condition. You should always consult with a licensed medical practitioner prior to following any suggestions outlined in this article or adopting any treatment protocol based on the contents of this article.

Dr. Obaid Ur Rehman
Dr. Obaid Ur Rehman - Author Dr. Obaid Ur Rehman is a Urologist with 8 years of experience currently practicing at Hameedah Memorial Hospital, Lahore. You can book an in-person appointment or an online video consultation with Dr. Obaid Ur Rehman through oladoc.com or by calling at 04238900939.

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