Bladder Cancer

What is a bladder tumor?

A bladder tumor is a cancer of the bladder lining. It normally looks like a piece of red cauliflower growing off the wall of the bladder. The tumor has a large number of blood vessels in it. When these break, they bleed. This is why most people with these tumors have blood in their urine.

What causes bladder tumors?

The most common cause of bladder tumors is smoking. Exposure to certain petroleum products, aniline dyes and heavy metals have also been associated with bladder cancer.

How is bladder cancer treated?

When someone is found to have a tumor in the bladder, it needs to be resected (scraped out). This is done using a special telescope called a resectoscope. Many times the only treatment that is necessary is having the tumor resected. If the tumor is large, the tumor cells look aggressive (high-grade tumors), or the tumor recurs chemotherapy is needed. This chemotherapy is instilled into the bladder through a catheter. It usually requires six (6) treatments spaced a week apart. Depending on your response, you may need additional chemotherapy. Unlike intravenous chemotherapy, you do not have problems such as losing your hair, vomiting, etc. If the tumor has grown into the wall of the bladder, you normally will need to have all or part of your bladder removed.

What can I expect in the hospital?

What can I expect at home post-surgery?