The treatment for bladder cancer almost always involves endoscopic procedure or surgery. Milder levels of the disease can be dealt with minimally invasive procedures such as endoscopic surgery. Endoscopic surgery (transurethral resection of bladder tumor - TURBT) involves attaching a set of surgical probes and tools to a scope, which is then inserted in the urethra for removal of cancer outgrowth in the bladder.
In case the bladder cancer is found to be non invasive after TURBT, it is usually managed by instillation of medications in bladder in clinic and frequent follow up with endoscopic examination of bladder (cystoscopy) to look for cancer regrowth or progress. Bladder medication involves placing medicines in the bladder for sixty minutes and then expelling the solution. This process may be repeated over a period of six weeks.
In case the bladder cancer is found to be muscle invasive, you may require surgical removal of the bladder. There are several ways to manage normal urine passage after removal of bladder. These include connecting urine passage to abdomen to be collected in a pouch/bag or reconstruction of a bladder from your intestine to allow urine flow via normal urinary passage.
Carefully selected invasive cancers can be managed by preservation of bladder, but in that case you will require complete endoscopic removal of tumour followed by chemotherapy and radiotherapy. You will also require close follow-up with possibility of bladder removal if the disease recurs.
In certain case the use of drug treatment via chemotherapy might be involved to kill or reduce the number of cancerous cells. Chemotherapy can be prescribed both before and after surgery, depending on the severity of the cancerous overgrowth.