Advanced, or Stage IV, bladder cancer occurs when cancer has spread to the pelvic wall and has reached nearby lymph nodes or other parts of the body. It is very difficult to treat any advanced stage cancers, including advanced bladder cancer. Advanced bladder cancer treatment usually cannot fully remove the cancer, but will be able to slow down its growth and spread.
Advanced Bladder Cancer Treatment
Chemotherapy involves the use of specific drugs designed for the treatment of cancers. This treatment is usually used to reduce the size of tumours. It can also help prevent the growth and spread of your bladder cancer.
Radiation Therapy is usually recommended for people who are unable to tolerate chemotherapy. This therapy can also be used in combination with an immunotherapy drug, such as atezolizumab or pembrolizumab. Radiation therapy involves the use of radiation to kill cancer cells. It will also help prevent cancer cells from growing.
Surgery, or a cystectomy, involves the bladder being partially or fully removed. A partial cystectomy can be done if the muscle layer of the bladder has been invaded by cancer. In this case, the cancer is usually in one spot so removal of only a part of the bladder is necessary. A radical cystectomy is done when the cancer has spread to more than one part of the bladder. In this case, removal of the whole bladder and some surrounding lymph nodes may be necessary.
You should understand what the goal of your treatment is. Some treatments reduce and prevent symptoms, while others extend your life. Discuss treatment options with your doctor or oncologist and be aware of the side effects that could occur in regard to the treatment you decide to take.
These treatments are not guaranteed to cure your advanced stage bladder cancer.
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