Bladder cancer

Most bladder cancers derive from the cells of the bladder’s inner lining. These cells can be damaged by toxins from cigarettes or other chemicals that accumulate in the urine and trigger cancer growth.

Bladder cancers fall into two main categories: (1) the more common low-grade, non-invasive bladder cancers that rarely spread outside the bladder and (2) potentially life-threatening high-grade and/or invasive bladder cancers.

Blood in the urine is the most commonly associated symptom of bladder cancer. It occurs in the vast majority of cases and should always be evaluated by a doctor. Other symptoms include painful urination, urinary urgency, back or abdominal pain, loss of appetite and loss of weight.

Treatment options

The initial evaluation is often performed in the office and treatment begins with outpatient surgery.

  • Treatment of non-invasive cancers often includes both surgery to remove the tumor(s) and medical therapy placed directly into the bladder.
  • For invasive cancers, removal of the bladder and construction of one of several types of reservoirs for the urine is often required.
  • For advanced disease, an approach incorporating tumor removal and chemotherapy administered to the whole body provides the best results.
Bladder removal
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When bladder cancer tumors become invasive, the whole organ may need to be removed. We use the most advanced reconstruction techniques to improve your quality of life and avoid the need for external equipment.

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This well-known cancer treatment uses medicines taken intravenously or by mouth to kill cancer cells throughout the body. Chemotherapy may be given before surgery to shrink tumors, or after to fight cancer cells that have potentially spread.

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Our surgeons use the daVinci® surgical system to perform minimally-invasive surgery to remove cancer cells from the bladder. This advanced approach means less blood loss and faster recovery time.

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