BCG works in the majority of cases (I have seen as high as 70%+). They are just stats anyway so think positive. Peruse this site for more on that. There are several layers in the bladder, see more on this site. Stage one is not even reaching the muscle, which is stage 2. Stage one even has a T1a and T1b which is way over my head and Stage 3 has two subsets. However, let's take one step/day at a time. Here's to hoping for a clean report and then go on with your life!
DX 5/6/2008 TAG3 papillary tumor .5 CM in size. 2 TURBS followed by 6 instillations of BCG weekly with a second round of 6 after a 6 week wait.
I know there are no guarantees, but is a person relatively 'safe' from the cancer spreading to other areas while going thru the subsequent BCG treatments. The fact that the initial tumor had penetrated the bladder wall just scares me. The pathology report said there was no evidence on the cancer in the muscle but it still scares me. I don't want to save my bladder and lose to the cancer spreading to some other area.
That is my last question until I have some actual biopsy results...I promise.
One of the more usual protocols for BCG treatment, particularly for high grade bladder cancer, is to follow the initial six weeks' series with maintenance treatments, usually done every three weeks every three months until two years have passed. Another protocol is to do one BCG instillation every month for a year. It has been shown that this significantly increases the effectiveness of BCG. Has your urologist mentioned this to you?
BCG treatments can also be repeated...the six weeks plus the maintenance doses...and sometimes this is very effective if there is a return of the cancer.
Also, some urologists have reported success with a combination of interferon with BCG in difficult cases. However, IF the BCG fails after several trials with it, bladder removal is usually recommended.
Wishing you luck on your exam!!
Diagnosis 2-08 Small papillary TCC; CIS
BCG; BCG maintenance
Vice-President, American Bladder Cancer Society
So....tomorrow I go in for a biopsy. I have had my 6 BCG treatments. I am not nervous about the biopsy.....just the results. If the BCG treatments didn't work, are their other options than removal of the bladder?
As background, I had a high grade stage 1 tumor about the size of a nickel removed in November. The tumor had penetrated the bladder wall but there was no evidence of the tumor in the muscle (Idon't know how that is possible but that is what they said). A month later they went back in for a biopsy and it was still present.....so the BCG treatments. I smoked for many years but have not smoked for the last 10 years.
The doctor says the tumor is real aggressive. I obviously don't want to have my bladder removed but I am more afraid of the tumor spreading out to other areas.
I know I am jumping the gun....maybe they will say I am cancer free....just kind of worried. And I wondered if there were other options than bladder removal.