Bladder Cancer

The bladder is in the lower abdomen and its function is to store and expel urine. The bladder has an elastic muscular wall that allows it to contract and expand as urine is stored or emptied. When cells of the bladder grow abnormally, they can become bladder cancer.
Bladder cancer symptoms are nonspecific and sometimes can represent other urologic disorders.

Cancer Care of North Florida will take careful steps stage and grade the tumor to assess the best way to create and manage your treatment plan. Our goal is to achieve the very best outcome while preserving your quality of life.

Types of bladder cancers include:

  • Transitional-cell carcinomas or Urothelial carcinomas (most common)
  • Squamous cell carcinomas
  • Adenocarcinomas
  • Small cell carcinomas
  • Sarcomas

Symptoms of Bladder Cancer Include:

  • Blood in urine (hematuria), which may cause urine to appear bright red or cola colored, though sometimes the urine appears normal, and blood is detected on a lab test. This is often seen without pain.
  • Frequent urination
  • Painful urination (dysuria)
  • Feeling as if you need to go right away, even when your bladder isn’t full (urgency)
  • Having trouble urinating or having a weak urine stream
  • Having to get up to urinate many times during the night (nocturia)
  • Unable to urinate
  • Pain in lower abdominal area
  • Back pain
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Tiredness/Fatigue
  • Swelling in feet
  • Bone pain
Bladder Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment

It is very important to do a comprehensive bladder cancer work-up to carefully evaluate the extent of bladder cancer.

  • Physical exam and history
  • Examining a urine sample (urine analysis, cytology, and culture)
  • Urine marker tests
  • Blood tests
  • Using a scope to examine the inside of your bladder (cystoscopy)
  • Removing a sample of tissue for testing and biopsy (transurethral resection of bladder tumor)
  • Imaging studies
  • CT urogram
  • CT-guided needle biopsy
  • Intravenous pyelogram (IVP)
  • Retrograde pyelogram
  • Ultrasound
  • CT scan Abdomen/Pelvis
  • MRI
  • PET
  • Bone scan
  • Chest X-Ray

Bladder Cancer treatment depends on the extent of the cancer within your body. At Cancer Care of North Florida, we use the most advanced therapies available to treat bladder cancer. An individualized plan of care may include multiple types of treatments.

Surgical options may include:

  • Transurethral resection of the bladder (TURBT)
  • Intravesical chemotherapy
  • Intravesical immunotherapy with BCG
  • Partial cystectomy
  • Radical cystectomy with urinary diversion

Other forms of non-surgical interventions for bladder cancer include:

Radiation – Any remaining cancer cells left after surgery are destroyed with high-energy radiation beams. For some bladder cancer, treating with chemotherapy at the same time can make radiation therapy work better. It is possible to receive radiation therapy before, during or after surgical intervention. Also, when surgery is not possible, radiation can be used to help slow the growth of the tumor. We work closely with Cancer Care of North Florida Radiation Oncology located on campus.
Chemotherapy – Chemotherapy (chemo) are anti-cancer drugs that may be given intravenously (injected into your vein) or by mouth. The drugs travel through the bloodstream to reach cancer cells in most parts of the body. Chemotherapy can sometimes be given before, during or after surgery. At Cancer Care of North Florida, our team provide extensive education and supportive care through your therapy.
Targeted Treatments – Targeted drugs work differently from chemo drugs. They sometimes work when chemo drugs don’t, and they often have different side effects. They can be used either along with chemotherapy or by themselves if chemotherapy is no longer working. Targeted treatment options are determined by further genetic testing of the tumor cells. This type of testing is usually done on the biopsied tissue of the tumor cells.
Immunotherapy – Immunotherapy is the use of medicines to help a person’s own immune system better recognize and destroy cancer cells. Immunotherapy can be used to treat some people with advanced bladder cancer.

Why Choose Us?

If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with bladder cancer, it is crucial to work with a team of cancer experts who not only have extensive experience, but also a strong track record for achieving the best possible outcome for their patients. While this type of cancer is treatable, the dedicated team Cancer Care of North Florida will initially stage and treat this form of cancer and monitor and treat cancer recurrence or complications that may occur later.

At Cancer Care of North Florida, our physicians are highly specialized in treating multiple types of cancer with the most advanced techniques. Using a team approach, we strive for excellence. We work with each patient to specifically tailor their treatment to their own clinical situation. One of the common diseases that we treat is bladder cancer.

  • Highly trained, collaborative oncology specialists all currently taking new patients
  • Consultation appointments scheduled within 3-5 days of referral and in some cases same-day appointments available
  • One-stop campus for comprehensive diagnositics and treatment for many types of cancer including radiation, chemotherapy infusion, lab draws and imaging services
  • Onsite infusion center offers comfortable, home-like setting
  • In-office lab testing
  • In-office medication dispensary
  • Open, immediate access to outpatient symptom management
  • 24-hour physician coverage
  • COPI-certified clinical trials
  • We accept most insurance plans including Medicare, Medicaid, and VA