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Bladder Cancer, Ambulatory Care

Bladder cancer

starts in the cells that line your bladder.


Common symptoms include the following:

  • Blood in your urine
  • A sudden need to urinate, or urinating more often than usual
  • Painful urination
  • Pain in your abdomen or pelvis
  • Unexplained weight loss

Call 911 for any of the following:

  • Warm, tender, swollen, red, and painful arm or leg
  • Chest pain when you take a deep breath or cough
  • Suddenly feeling lightheaded and short of breath
  • Coughing up blood

Seek immediate care for the following symptoms:

  • Not being able to urinate, or pain in your lower abdomen
  • Blood in your urine

Treatment for bladder cancer

may include any of the following:

  • Transurethral resection (TUR) is used to burn off the tumor by electrical current or laser. An instrument called a cystoscope is inserted through the urethra.
  • Immunotherapy is medicine given directly into the bladder to help your immune system fight the cancer.
  • Chemotherapy medicines kill cancer cells.
  • Radiation therapy uses high-energy x-ray beams to kill cancer cells.
  • Surgery may be needed to remove your bladder. Healthcare providers will then need to make an opening to the outside of your body for urine to pass through. Surrounding organs and lymph nodes may also be removed.

Manage your bladder cancer:

  • Do not smoke. Smoking increases your risk for new or returning cancer. Smoking can also delay healing after treatment. Ask your healthcare provider for information if you currently smoke and need help quitting.
  • Limit or do not drink alcohol. Alcohol may cause you to become dehydrated. Men should limit alcohol to 2 drinks per day. Women should limit alcohol to 1 drink per day. A drink of alcohol is 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1½ ounces of liquor.
  • Eat healthy foods. Healthy foods include fruits, vegetables, whole-grain breads, low-fat dairy products, beans, lean meats, and fish. Ask if you need to be on a special diet.
  • Drink liquids as directed. Your healthcare provider may recommend that you drink more liquids to prevent dehydration. Ask how much liquid to drink each day and which liquids are best for you.
  • Exercise as directed. Exercise may help increase your energy level and appetite. Ask your healthcare provider how much exercise you need and which exercises are best for you.

Follow up with your healthcare provider or oncologist as directed:

You will need to see your oncologist for ongoing treatment. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

© 2016 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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