Patient Comments: Bladder Cancer - Effective Treatment

Question:

What treatment has been effective for your bladder cancer? Submit Your Comment

Comment from: exerciser, 75 or over Male (Patient) Published: December 01

Four years ago I awoke to urinate at 2 am and passed bloody urine and many blood clots. I spoke to a urologist few hours later. I saw him next day for cystoscopy and a stalked-type cancer tumor was seen. It was excised following week in outpatient procedure and BCG treatment was started once a week for 6 wks. I had no side effects. Cytology tests on urine showed positive cancer cells at few months' post-operation and post-BCG treatments. Specialized scans of the urinary tract and kidneys were negative. I continued on schedule of 4 cystoscopies/year, then 3/year and last year 2/year, with no recurrence of cancer or positive cytology studies. Now on 1 cystoscopy exam/year and last one in August was negative. I am a 75 year old male, no family history of bladder cancer, and always very physically active. My original episode of bloody urine was preceded the night before by my usual racquetball night. The surgeon and I both feel this was lucky because the vigorous exercise probably instigated the bleed. I could have not seen any symptom for many months had I not been running around that night.

Comment from: Abby, 55-64 Male (Caregiver) Published: July 15

My husband had bladder cancer and removal of bladder. All cancer removed, no chemotherapy or radiation was needed. The only thing that is alarming is, the urine smells strongly and just bad and he runs a fever. After antibiotics, odor goes away totally. Husband's surgery was in January 14.

Comment from: 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: July 23

I had heavy blood in my urine for a week before finally going to a doctor in the fall of 2006 when I reached a point of total blockage. A cysto showed a tumor, which was removed a month later and diagnosed as a superficial cancer. The doctor thought it had all been removed, but a biopsy several weeks later showed cancer cells remaining. I started six weeks of BCG, which I was told is very effective and it worked for me. Only two of the treatments gave me minor side effects that didn't last beyond the day of treatment. Another biopsy in the hospital a few weeks after the last treatment didn't show any remaining cancer cells. I had a cystoscopy every three months for a year after the last BCG treatment, and then every four months for another year. I'm now on a six month cysto and annual CT scan schedule for another two and a half years, and I have been cancer free so far. I know it can recur, but BCG worked very well for me, as it does for countless others. I'm 75 and had ovarian cancer many years ago. I'm keeping my fingers crossed the bladder cancer doesn't recur. I have other medical issues and deal with things one at a time. I don't dwell on it and can't spend my life worrying about it. Several medical professionals told me that BCG is highly effective and can be used repeatedly, so I trust it will work for me again if there's a recurrence. Obviously, I hope that won't be necessary, but it beats most of the alternatives.

Comment from: twink, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: July 05

I had bladder cancer in 2004, I now have a urostomy bag. You never really get used to it but as everyone says at least you are still here. They tell you that you can have a normal sex life, well, sex still hurts. And when I go to my general physician they don't have a clue what they are dealing with so if I have a problem I have to go to the accident and emergency, but again as everyone says at least you are still here!

Comment from: royrogers, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: December 02

March 2002 I found I had bladder cancer. After procedure it retuned 9 months later. It returned again in 9 months. Started chemo and it came back in 3 years. Procedure and chemo again it came back in 2 years. 90 days later it is back again. 7 procedures, 34 tumors removed 9 rounds of poison and I am still kickin' and still have my bladder intact in December 2010.

Comment from: Bob, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: September 26

I had a cystoscopy done and the doctor did not find anything, and said that I needed a dilation. I went in for a dilation of urethra and doctor found tumor. A month later, he goes back to get it and it is gone. I'm having terrible back pain and having trouble with the flow. The doctor is marking as a urinary tract infection (UTI). But he does not want to see me for 6 months.

Comment from: alejo, 75 or over Male (Patient) Published: May 12

I have a bladder carcinoma my doctor advised me a total removal of my bladder.

Comment from: libraryasst52, 65-74 Male (Caregiver) Published: June 24

My husband was diagnosed with bladder cancer two days ago. He had a tumor removed, and it was malignant. The doctor will go back into his bladder in two weeks to make sure he got all of the tumor and to do scrapings of the bladder wall to make sure it hasn't spread into the bladder lining. In the meantime, my husband wants to sleep all the time.

Comment from: Scrap, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: June 14

I am a 30 year old male now. At 28 I found out I had bladder cancer after an ER trip with blood in urine and blood clots with massive lower back pain. For now a year and a half I have had a constant battle. 4 surgeries and 13 tumors later I am in no better shape than when I found out I had it. My last surgery was 3 months ago and 2 days ago I found out I have 6 more tumors that have grown since. The smallest is 1/8th of an inch. I have had a wide array of bladder spasms ranging from massive pain to barely feeling it and have also had a constant lower back pain since my first surgery. My bladder is now twice the size it was and is weak and flabby so I retain urine in excess of 500cc's at any given time. I have had urodynamics testing which told them that my bladder is very weak and at that time I was retaining over 700cc's of urine. Emotionally and mentally this has taken one heck of a toll on me.

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Comment from: Bruce, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: March 10

I was 53 years old when I urinated a lot of blood one morning. I went immediately to the clinic and the doctor set me up with a urologist the next day. He stuck in his scope and almost immediately pulled it out. He said we were going to do two things, 1) quite smoking, 2) operate the next morning. It was a stage 3 tumor in the bladder and imperative that it came out. After the operation I took BCG treatments and I was of the percentage it did not work on. The cancer had spread throughout the the inner walls of the bladder. My doctor recommended a radical cystectomy and I finally concurred after determining that chemo and radiation might not be too effective. Now the question was whether I wanted an internal pouch fashioned out of a section of my colon, or and external pouch with a piece of my intestine sticking through my side. I chose the latter. Seemed easier than cauterizing my new bladder to eliminate the urine every two hours or so, including night time. I have been cancer free for six years now. Have experimented with different pouches and have found a good method of taking care of these and can make them last 7-14 days, depending on how active I am. However, I would urge all males to seek immediate help with aftercare and working to reestablish one's sexual function. All is not lost, but there is work and care involved. The only thing that I choose not to do today that I did before the cancer is sliding into second base on my belly.

Comment from: Helpafriend, 45-54 Female (Caregiver) Published: January 12

I have a friend that was diagnosed with bladder cancer in May/09. The doctor's removed it and in 3 months a check up was done and the cancer returned. This time the cancer was in 3 places and it was considered aggressive, invasive, and in the lining. I for the 2nd time told her to consider removal and just go with the bag. This was NOT for her! So she went for the cancer treatments, 6 weeks of them. Never got sick and she was totally well throughout treatment. Now after the treatments she is getting silver strobing circular lights in her vision. She went to the hospital and seen a specialist for eyes. He wants her to have an electrode test in March to see if the retina is permanently damaged. The doctor said that she has all the classic symptoms of her immune system attacking her retina. This reduces the protein in the retina and then blindness. I might add this is a rapid situation. This occurs in about 15% of people that have certain cancers bladder cancer is one. So NOW if my friend would have listened to me and removed her bladder before the 2nd bout she would of been rid of the cancer and not be facing going blind. I find this to be a very sad situation that could have been prevented. My advice to anyone with invasive bladder cancer is get rid of it while you still have the chance. Not knocking cancer treatments, but it seems that you are really never out of the woods. I guess if you have the cancer treatment in the beginning and it totally works then carry on with regular checks. Hope I have saved 1 person by providing this information. Swallow your pride and live again...With the bag!!! I would.

Comment from: Justin, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: December 29

I was 26 when I noticed I started to pee a large amount of blood. I went to a uroligist and found out I had a nonagressive superficial bladder tumor. I had it removed and had my checkups for two years, and it looked great. Going into my third year I've noticed some bladder pain, a little burning when I pee and some kidney burning. I've scheduled an appointment with my urologist since it has been a year. I am very scared and hope that everything is OK!

Comment from: John, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: October 06

I have received BCG for my bladder cancer and the treatment to did not take for my cancer. I am going to try a second time around. I am not happy with my present urologist who is not a cancer specialist in bladder. I would like to know what treatments are available so I know what I am talking about and if I am a candidate. I would like to see another specialist in South Carolina, Horry County that I am close to. If necessary Charleston would be ok. Thank you John

Comment from: Mandy, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: June 17

I was first diagnosed with bladder cancer at 31, just after my third child was born. The only symptom I had at that time was painless blood. This year is my 25th year of recurrent transitional cell carcinoma. Three years is the longest I have ever gone without reocurrance. I have had BCG treatments that have worked for a while, and Mitocin that also worked for a while. I have smoked in my lifetime. I have gotten a 2nd opinion at Mayo. Now that I am more aware of my body, I can usually tell whether it's back or not. Yesterday, I found out it's time for more surgery. You just have to keep keeping on.............

Comment from: alan, 75 or over Male Published: August 17

My father has been told he has aggressive cancer in his bladder. They have already removed what they were able to remove. I feel he is not telling the family the full story. He is now being referred for radium treatment. He is 81. He is up three or four times a night for the bathroom and is constantly fatigued.

Comment from: Kim, 65-74 Male (Caregiver) Published: December 01

My dad has been diagnosed with bladder cancer. He has been for surgery twice, and they said they missed a bit. Now they have said that they missed some more. So he has to go back for more surgeries. This is frustrating, and I can't believe they keep missing a bit.

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Comment from: Bruno, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: August 31

Hello, I am 29 years old, and I had a bladder tumor removed last July. I am a male non-smoker, but I am an aircraft engineer, which seems to have caused it. I thought I was dying, but I am OK now. I had a scope done last November, and I was supposed to have another a few months ago, but I can't find the courage to go.

Comment from: Grandma, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: March 22

In June or July of 2000 I was diagnosed with bladder cancer. It started out to be what I thought was a urinary tract infection. After several tests proved inconclusive I was sent to a urologist who did a cystoscopy and found 3 tumors. I was fortunate that they had not invaded the bladder wall and was given BCG treatments for 1 year. I have had a cystoscopy every year and have been cancer free so far. It seems early detection was the key here.

Comment from: Onardossa, 55-64 Female (Caregiver) Published: October 12

I want to say - thank you for this!

Comment from: Sunflower, 55-64 Male (Caregiver) Published: October 16

My partner was diagnosed with an aggressive form of superficial bladder cancer after noticing his urine to be an unusual color (slightly rusty). After two bouts of surgery to remove this, he is now nearing the end of his second year with BCG treatment. Regular urine tests and cystoscopies (where they look up your bladder with a small camera) also keep a check on any possible recurrence. We have been lucky that all seems to be going well.

Comment from: Debra H, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 22

The lesson I have learned is to be pushy when going to your general practitioner. One year ago, I had bright blood in my urine. The GP gave me antibiotics and it appeared to fix the problem. As I was also menopausal, I dismissed the slight pink blood stains that appeared occasionally and went just as quickly for a whole year. Then the bleeding began in earnest again, and I was passing large clots as well. I became very anemic. I was loosing blood waiting for the private specialist to see me and ended up being in an ambulance as my urethra had blocked completely, and I was unable to pee. After two days at the hospital trying to flush the clots out, they removed all the clots and the growths they found. I had an aggressive form of bladder cancer. Lucky for me, it was confined to the lining. I have been having MRIs performed every three months and most times, I have more tissue taken out. You know your body best: Ask for an appointment with a specialist.

Comment from: jeanima, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: November 30

I was diagnosed with Bladder Cancer in November 2009, it was a very rare type, very aggressive but still quite small, the wonderful surgeon I had said the only safe way was to have Radical Surgery, the operation took nearly 9 hours everything including my woman's bits were taken too and I have a bag which works just fine and it is very little inconvenience for my second chance of life!!

Comment from: Miracle Of Asparagus, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: January 31

Try drinking pureed Asparagus, to eliminate cancer growth in our bodies. It equalizes red and white cell counts, thus eliminating cancer growth. I drank 2 tins of asparagus, pureed, per day, for 2 months, and removed bladder tumors. I now drink 1 tin per day, as a tonic, as it also improved my blood tests. Asparagus has a protein called 'histones,' which is believed to be active in controlling cell growth, and eliminates the prospect of cancer entering our bodies.

Comment from: Belle2, 45-54 Male (Caregiver) Published: January 19

My husband was diagnosed with bladder cancer that has spread to his liver. Chemo is working well. He is scheduled for bladder, and prostate removal in about one month. We are concerned about the sexual side effects.

Comment from: 55-64 Female (Caregiver) Published: December 01

Thanks everyone for sharing your views. My mother had experience similar to the last patient comment - menopausal). She will now have chemotherapy. I believe that her cancer has gone into bladder layers, but is still within the bladder. Please share your views if chemotherapy will completely cure her and she may not have new growth.

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