Advanced bladder cancer
If bladder cancer has spread to other parts of the body, it is known as advanced or metastatic bladder cancer. You may be offered one or a combination of the following treatments to help control the cancer and ease symptoms.
Learn more about these treatments for advanced cancer:
- systemic chemotherapy
- surgery (TURBT)
- surgery (cystectomy)
- radiation therapy
- palliative treatment
Palliative treatment helps to improve people’s quality of life by managing symptoms of cancer without trying to cure the disease, and is best thought of as supportive care.
Many people think that palliative treatment is only for people at the end of their life; however, it can help people at any stage of advanced bladder cancer. It is about living for as long as possible in the most satisfying way you can.
As well as slowing the spread of cancer, palliative treatment can relieve pain and help manage other symptoms. Treatment may include radiation therapy, chemotherapy or surgery to control the cancer.
Palliative treatment is one aspect of palliative care, in which a team of health professionals aims to meet your physical, emotional, cultural, social and spiritual needs. The team also provides support to families and carers.
Video: What is palliative care?
Download a PDF booklet on this topic.
Prof Dickon Hayne, UWA Medical School, The University of Western Australia, and Head, Urology, South Metropolitan Health Service, WA; BEAT Bladder Cancer Australia; Dr Anne Capp, Senior Staff Specialist, Radiation Oncology, Calvary Mater Newcastle, NSW; Marc Diocera, Genitourinary Nurse Consultant, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, VIC; Dr Peter Heathcote, Senior Urologist, Princess Alexandra Hospital, and Adjunct Professor, Australian Prostate Cancer Research Centre, QLD; Melissa Le Mesurier, Consumer; Dr James Lynam, Medical Oncologist Staff Specialist, Calvary Mater Newcastle and The University of Newcastle, NSW; John McDonald, Consumer; Michael Twycross, Consumer; Rosemary Watson, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council Victoria.
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