If you’re affected by bladder cancer, you may have many questions about how it is diagnosed, treatment options, side effects and how to stay well. You can find trustworthy information about all aspects of your experience below.
Bladder cancer begins when cells in the inner lining of the bladder become abnormal. Get an overview of bladder cancer, what causes it and who gets it.
Find out about the tests for bladder cancer, how bladder cancer is diagnosed and staged, and who will provide your care.
Learn how to make the right treatment decisions for your own unique situation.
If cancer cells are found only in the inner layers of the bladder (non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer), the main treatment is surgery to remove the cancer.
When bladder cancer has invaded the muscle layer, the main treatment options are surgery to remove the whole bladder or trimodal therapy (bladder-conserving surgery, followed by chemoradiation).
If you have surgery to remove the bladder, you will need another way to collect and store urine. This is known as a urinary diversion.
Learn about follow-up care, what happens if the cancer returns, and how to look after your physical and mental health.
If the bladder cancer is advanced, treatments will aim to control its growth and manage symptoms.
- What type of bladder cancer do I have?
- Has the cancer spread? If so, where has it spread? How fast is it growing?
- Are the latest tests and treatments for this cancer available in this hospital?
- Will a multidisciplinary team be involved in my care?
- Are there clinical guidelines for this type of cancer?
- What treatment do you recommend? What is the aim of the treatment?
- If an operation is recommended, how many times have you performed it?
- Are there other treatment choices for me? If not, why not?
- If I don’t have the treatment, what should I expect?
- I’m thinking of getting a second opinion. Can you recommend anyone?
- How long will treatment take? Will I have to stay in hospital?
- Are there any out-of-pocket expenses not covered by Medicare or my private health cover? Can the cost be reduced if I can’t afford it?
- How will we know if the treatment is working?
- Are there any clinical trials or research studies I could join?
- What are the risks and possible side effects of each treatment?
- If I need the bladder removed, what are my options for storing urine?
- Will I have a lot of pain? What will be done about this?
- Can I work, drive and do my normal activities while having treatment?
- Will the treatment affect my sex life and fertility?
- Should I change my diet or physical activity during or after treatment?
- Are there any complementary therapies that might help me?
- How often will I need check-ups after treatment?
- If the cancer returns, how will I know? What treatments could I have?