Treating Bladder Cancer through Chemotherapy

Earlier this year, the American Cancer Society estimated that more than 70,000 new cases of bladder cancer are reported every year. The disease has a higher incidence rate in men and survival rates can be as low as 10% during the later stages. Cancer in the bladder can be treated through various methods depending upon the medical history of the patient and the nature of the tumour. Read on to learn about treatment of bladder cancer through chemotherapy and its various implications.

When is Chemotherapy Recommended for Bladder Cancer?

Chemotherapy is used in conjunction with surgery or radiation therapy or on its own in the treatment of advanced bladder cancer. It is typically used in cases where the cancer has spread beyond the bladder cells to other organs. For patients suffering from muscle invasive bladder cancer, chemotherapy combined with cystectomy has proved to increase the survival rate. Chemotherapy prevents the recurrence of cancer by destroying the metastatic remains of the disease from around the bladder region. Cycles of chemotherapy for older patients and patients with any serious medical condition may be too difficult to handle. Therefore the treatment must be preceded with a clear understanding of the process and its side-effects.

How is Chemotherapy Administered?

Chemotherapy is delivered through two ways depending upon the severity of the tumour and the stage of cancer. Both methods have side effects which can be controlled through other medicines.

Chemotherapy through the vein: It refers to IV or oral delivery of the drug to the patient. The drugs travel through the blood stream and destroy the effected cells outside the bladder.

Chemotherapy direct to the bladder: This is a more targeted method of chemotherapy where malignant cells in the bladder are killed permanently.

What are the Post-Effects of Chemotherapy?

Side effects of chemotherapy are intense and may affect the patient physically and emotionally. Intravesical chemotherapy (direct to the bladder) renders fewer side effects than the systemic method. Most common results of the treatment are fatigue, nausea, higher risk of infection, anxiety, loss of appetite, bleeding, hair loss and cognitive impairment.

How can Patients Survive the Treatment Effectively?

An important element of the recovery phase is to stay positive and follow an active lifestyle. Chemotherapy rarely results in any permanent side-effects and therefore can be dealt well through certain measures. Patients must follow a healthy diet, stay well hydrated, exercise regularly, practice relaxation techniques like biofeedback therapy and also take the assistance of their medical practitioner to ensure that their body is well on its way to complete recovery.

The author of this article is an experienced writer who has been writing about cancer in the bladder and here he discusses about treating bladder cancer through chemotherapy. Read more,