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Making the Decision to Have Chemotherapy for Bladder Cancer

Making the Decision to Have Chemotherapy for Bladder Cancer

Your doctor may recommend chemotherapy to treat bladder cancer if any of these cases apply to you:

  • You have a large tumor. Your doctor may use chemotherapy to shrink a large tumor before surgery. Making the tumor smaller makes it easier to take out.

  • You have stage 0 or stage I bladder cancer with multiple or recurrent tumors. Your doctor may give you chemotherapy after TUR surgery. This can help prevent or delay cancers from coming back. In some cases, the chemotherapy medication may be given directly into the bladder through a tube.

  • You have stage II bladder cancer. This means the cancer has spread to the muscle layer of your bladder. Your doctor may combine chemotherapy with radiation after you’ve had surgery. This can help kill cancer cells that may have spread elsewhere in your body.

  • You have stage III bladder cancer. This means the cancer has spread to the fatty layer of the bladder. And it may have spread to your prostate if you’re a man. If you’re a woman, it may have spread to your uterus or vagina. Your doctor may give you chemotherapy along with radiation after surgery. This helps kill cancer cells that may have spread elsewhere in your body.

  • You have stage IV bladder cancer. This means that the cancer has spread to the walls of your abdomen, your pelvis, or an organ far from your bladder. Your doctor may give you a variety of chemotherapy drugs. This is to help kill cancer cells that have spread elsewhere in your body.

Your medical team will review the options appropriate to your condition. To help deal with the medical information and remember all of your questions, it is helpful to bring a family member or close friend with you to doctors' appointments. In addition, bringing a written list of concerns will make it easier for you to remember your questions. 

 
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