BLADDER AND KIDNEY CANCER TREATMENTS
Bladder Cancer Treatment
YOU ARE NOT ALONE
If you have recently been diagnosed with bladder cancer or kidney (renal) cancer, you are not alone, as both cancers are among the top ten most commonly diagnosed in the United States. Our compassionate, comprehensive team is here to help.
Recent advances in therapies are helping to improve survival and offer hope to those newly diagnosed with these urologic diseases.
Learn more about how clinical research trials represent some of the most advanced treatment options for many patients.
PARTNER WITH AN EXPERT
You’ve done your homework and know what you’re up against. Now you need an experienced physician partner who specializes in genitourinary (GU) cancers and is knowledgeable about the most advanced treatment therapies including radiation, immunotherapy and vaccine therapy.
The treatment of bladder cancer depends on how deeply it invades into the wall of the bladder.
SUPERFICIAL BLADDER CANCER
Superficial bladder cancer that does not invade into the muscular layer is generally managed by urologists with local excision.
INVASIVE BLADDER CANCER
Bladder cancer that invades into the muscular layer of the bladder wall is more complex and is generally managed with some combination of surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. For example, many patients are treated with several months of chemotherapy followed by surgery to remove the bladder, called a cystectomy.
Others are treated with the so-called “bladder sparing” approach, which consists of radiation therapy plus chemotherapy. Patients treated with the “bladder sparing” approach may have to have their bladders removed in the future if the cancer recurs in the bladder.
If your bladder cancer has metastasized to other organs, chemotherapy is generally the preferred approach, with radiation therapy also helping to alleviate bleeding from the bladder and to alleviate pain from bone metastases. There is a lot of excitement these days about using immunotherapy in bladder cancer, though immune therapy for bladder cancer is generally available only in clinical trials.
KIDNEY CANCER TREATMENTS
RENAL CELL CARCINOMA
Renal cell carcinoma is the most common type of adult kidney cancer. In patients with tumors localized to the kidney, surgery is usually the preferred therapy. Either the whole kidney (nephrectomy) or a part of the kidney (partial nephrectomy) is removed.
Urologists perform these surgical procedures. The exact surgical procedure performed by your urologist will be based on your cancer and its stage, as well as your health. Many of our urologist colleagues use the latest techniques, including the da Vinci robot, when operating.
If the entire cancer has been surgically removed, no additional therapy is usually recommended other than monitoring. However, some patients qualify for clinical trials testing the role of new therapies administered after surgery and designed to prevent the kidney cancer from recurring. Ask your doctor if you qualify for one of these trials.
KIDNEY CANCER THAT HAS METASTASIZED
If the kidney cancer has spread to other areas of your body, then your treatment may be more complex and individualized. Surgery to remove the primary kidney tumor may still be recommended because studies suggest a survival benefit in selected patients with nephrectomy.
New therapies that can be offered to prolong survival, include sunitinib, pazopanib, axitinib, sorafenib, temsirolimus, everolimus, bevacizumab plus interferon, and interleukin-2. Radiation therapy plays a role in alleviating pain from bone metastases and in treating brain metastases.