Need help understanding, Bladder cancer but no tumor?

13 years 7 months ago #11460 by Loree928
Hi All, I am new here and I'm inquiring about my BIL's recent diagnosis. I thought I knew a good amount of information about cancer, as I just lost my Dad from Lung cancer. I researched everything I could and I was his caretaker.

My BIL is a healthy 40yr old, who never smoked, always exercised and really is in good shape. He had trouble recently with UTI's and blood in his urine that didn't respond to antibiotics. He recently went in for I believe a laproscopy or some procedure where they scraped his bladder, and they diagnosed him with bladder cancer, on the lining of the bladder. His lining of the bladder is cancerous.

They also told him there was no tumor, which is good I assume. I thought there had to be a tumor somewhere to get cancer? He went for a CT scan of his kidneys, liver and lungs and it was all clear, it had not spread, not to mention, no tumors there either. Thank God.

He went for a second opinion which confirmed bladder cancer and will be meeting with an Oncologist next week to see where he goes from there. Is it possible to get bladder cancer without having a tumor anywhere? I just don't understand how that happens. Any help would be appreciated.

I would like to learn more to help Him and my Sister. To me, I think his prognosis will be better since there is no tumor? All I know is every website I visited about bladder cancer, mentioned "tumors", but no tumors have been found anywhere. As I mentioned my Dad had lung cancer, because he had a tumor in his lung. I don't understand really, but trying to learn so I can help them too.

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.

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13 years 7 months ago #11461 by wendy
This could be CIS/carcinoma in situ, which is different in bladder cancer than with other cancer --where it's considered pre-cancerous. In bladder cancer it is considered non-invasive but yet aggressive, and no, there is no tumor. The lining itself has cancer on top or maybe just underneath. It is a hard type to find, is often invisible to the eye under white light cystoscopy and during TUR (transurethral resection). Since it is easily under-treated due to these factors most uros will prescribe the best treatment for it, BCG immunotherapy.

It is unusual for CIS to show up without a regular type tumor; there is some evidence that "primary" CIS (instead of secondary, alongside the other tumor types) is less aggressive than secondary CIS. I hope your BIL has this kind, if it is indeed his diagnosis. Only the pathology report can give you a real answer. But this is what it sounds like...maybe primary CIS.

You can learn more about CIS both primary and secondary, and BCG as well on the home page of this forum. CIS is coverd in 'newly diagnosed'=about bladder cancer, and BCG has it's page under 'treatment options'-superficial blca, BCG.

I am not 100% sure an oncologist is better than a urologist when the diaqnosis is bladder cancer, unless it is a uro-oncologist. Since CIS is relatively rare, and oncologists are not specialized in bladder cancer but in chemo drugs...maybe it couldn't hurt to see a good, smart uro as well before committing to a path of treatment. A uro would be more informed about BCG, an immunotherapy that is rarely used for other cancers.

Sorry to meet another young person with blc, 40 is too young for this!

Good luck with everything.

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13 years 7 months ago #11467 by fearandfight
Loree this is that link off our homepage Wendy was referring to alot of valuable info on that page besides just this link. Best of Luck, Joe ;)

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13 years 7 months ago #11468 by Patricia
Loree do you have a copy of the pathology report from the TURB that the uro did? It should have been staged and graded and the type of cells. That will help us also.

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