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starts in the cells that line your bladder.
Common symptoms include the following:
- Blood in your urine or urine that is pink or orange
- A sudden need to urinate, or urinating more often than usual
- Trouble starting the stream of urine or urinating very little
- Pain or burning when you urinate
- Pain in your abdomen or pelvis
- Unexplained weight loss
- Feeling tired or weak
Call 911 for any of the following:
- You suddenly feel lightheaded and short of breath.
- You cough up blood.
Seek care immediately if:
- Your arm or leg feels warm, tender, and painful. It may look swollen and red.
- You are unable to urinate.
Contact your healthcare provider or oncologist if:
- You have a fever.
- You vomit and cannot keep any liquids or food down.
- You have new or worsening pain.
- Your pain gets worse or does not go away after you take pain medicine.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
Your healthcare provider will help you create a treatment plan. He or she will talk to you about the benefits and risks of each treatment. Some treatments may cause incontinence (leaking urine) or bowel movement problems. You may also develop problems with having sex or being able to have children. Talk to your provider about these and other problems that may develop after treatment. This will help you feel comfortable with your treatment plan. You may need more than one of the following:
- Transurethral resection of bladder tumor (TURBT) is a procedure used to remove the tumor. Bladder muscle near the tumor may also be removed. This procedure is done by inserting tools through your urethra and into your bladder. TURBT may be done if the cancer has not spread to the muscle layer of the bladder.
- Immunotherapy is medicine given to help your immune system kill cancer cells. It is injected into your vein or directly into your bladder.
- Chemotherapy is medicine given to kill cancer cells. It may be given to you as a pill or an injection into your vein or muscle. It may also be injected directly into your bladder. This is called intravesical chemo. Intravesical chemo is placed into the bladder through a catheter. The chemo usually stays in the bladder for 2 hours. Then chemo is drained from the bladder and the catheter is removed.
- Radiation therapy uses high-energy x-ray beams to kill cancer cells.
- Surgery may be needed to remove your bladder. Surrounding organs and lymph nodes may also be removed. Surgery may be needed if the cancer has spread to the muscle layer of the bladder.
- Do not smoke. Nicotine can damage blood vessels and make it hard to manage your bladder cancer. Smoking also increases your risk for new or returning cancer. Ask your healthcare provider for information if you currently smoke and need help to quit. E-cigarettes or smokeless tobacco still contain nicotine. Talk to your healthcare provider before you use these products.
- Limit or do not drink alcohol. Alcohol may cause you to become dehydrated. Ask your oncologist if it is safe for you to drink alcohol, and how much is safe to drink.
- Eat healthy foods. Healthy foods include fruit, vegetables, whole-grain breads, low-fat dairy products, beans, lean meats, and fish. Your healthcare provider may recommend that you eat less red meat. You need to eat enough calories to help prevent weight loss and increase your energy level. You also need protein to give you strength. If you do not feel hungry, eat small amounts often instead of large meals.
- Drink liquids as directed. You may need to drink more liquids than usual 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.
For more information and support:
It may be difficult for you and your family to go through cancer and cancer treatments. Join a support group or talk with others who have gone through treatment.
- American Cancer Society
250 Williams Street
Atlanta , GA 30303
Phone: 1- 800 - 227-2345
Web Address: http://www.cancer.org
- National Cancer Institute
6116 Executive Boulevard, Suite 300
Bethesda , MD 20892-8322
Phone: 1- 800 - 422-6237
Web Address: http://www.cancer.gov
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.
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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.
Learn more about Bladder Cancer (Ambulatory Care)
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Symptoms and treatments
Mayo Clinic Reference
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