When bladder cancer has reached to stage IV levels, it means that the cancer has spread to other parts of the body. Stage IV bladder cancer will usually spread past the bladder wall. It can spread to the pelvic and/or abdominal wall as well.
Stage IV Bladder Cancer Prognosis
Stage IV bladder cancers, also known as metastatic bladder cancers, have a very low cure rate because they spread so far. However, there are certain courses of treatments patients can take to increase the chance of a survival. Some treatments also decrease the severity of symptoms or even cure it.
Chemotherapy – Chemotherapy is the treatment of cancer through the use of specialized drugs. Two common types of chemotherapy are GC and MVAC therapies. GC chemotherapy involves a combination of the drugs gemcitabine and cisplatin. MVAC is the combination of the drugs methotrexate, vinblastine, doxorubicin, and cisplatin.
Radiation Therapy – This therapy involves the use of radiation targetted at a tumour, which will effectively kill the cancer cells.
Surgery – At stage IV levels of bladder cancer, patients may require surgery to remove his/her bladder. Removal of the bladder is also known as a radical cystectomy. A man requiring a radical cystectomy will also have to have his prostate and seminal vesicles removed. Women who require a radical cystectomy will have their uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries, anterior vaginal wall and urethra removed. Surgery is recommended if a patient has been unresponsive to radiation therapy or chemotherapy.
If diagnosed with stage IV bladder cancer, you should talk to your doctor about stage IV bladder cancer prognosis. Before you decide on a treatment course, discuss all of your options with your doctor or oncologist to determine whether one treatment could work better for you than another. Patients should be aware of side effects, as sometimes the types of side effects that may occur can outweigh any benefits.
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