Newbie Here - When to Start Chemo

11 years 5 months ago #29154 by tlw
Hi folks:

My 78 year old mother was recently diagnosed with bladder cancer. Her Dr. diagnosed it as malignant while looking at it while she was still "in the stirrups." (my mother's phrasing) No mention of type, stage, etc. He removed the visible tumor and set a return visit for 3 mos. During that second visit, he identified 2 "tadpole looking things" (again my mother's phrasing), which he also removed. She waited another 3 mos. and during that visit he simply said he wanted to start her on chemo - again nothing about type, stage, etc. He is a urologist and, to my knowledge has no training or certification in oncology. There is no oncologist involved at this point. Question (I suspect the first of many): shouldn't she be getting more information from her treating doctor about the cancer and shouldn't an oncologist be on the team if she is to have chemo? Is this the point where chemo typically comes into the picture?

I would like to help my mother understand what's going on so any and all advice/information any of you care to share would be greatly appreciated. I'm an only child and my mother lives alone in another state. Needless to say, we're all a bit shook up at this point. Thanks.

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11 years 5 months ago #29158 by mmc
Replied by mmc on topic Newbie Here - When to Start Chemo

Have your mom get a copy of her records from her urologist.
If he did a biopsy, there should be a pathology report.
Also, tumor removal is not a "hop up and put your feet in the stirrups" type of operation. At least, not the "right way".

If your mom has bladder cancer, then she should get a referral to a doctor at a bladder cancer center. These are the folks that deal with bladder cancer multiple times a day, rather than multiple times per year.

Snipping things out and then "Come back and we'll take a look in three months" does not sound like the proper way to be treating this.

Your mom probably needs a reTURBT (Trans Urethral Resection of the Bladder Tumor). This should be done in a surgery center (preferably at a bladder cancer center) where they can get sufficient tissue around the tumor (margins) in order to know exactly how deep into the tissue the cancer is.

A lot also depends on how healthy your mom is otherwise but what you have described sounds like you may want to step in and help your mom navigate this situation.


Age 54
10/31/06 dx CIS (TisG3) non-invasive (at 47)
9/19/08 TURB/TUIP dx Invasive T2G3
10/8/08 RC neobladder(at 49)
2/15/13 T4G3N3M1 distant metastases(at 53)
9/2013 finished chemo -cancer free again
1/2014 ct scan results....distant mets
2/2014 ct result...spread to liver, kidneys, and lymph...

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11 years 4 months ago - 11 years 4 months ago #29524 by carol ann
Replied by carol ann on topic Newbie Here - When to Start Chemo
My urologist did a scope on Thursday, stated it looked like cancer, I had the TURBT surgery the following Monday. It was then staged T1-CIS and have begun BCG treatments.
He did not remove anything during the scoping at all. There is no oncologist involved at this point as my doctor does the BCG treatments himself.
I agree with Mike that you might seek out another doctor.
The first urologist I went to saw something when he did the scope but told me to come back in 6 months. I continued having pain when urinating and nothing he did helped.
I then went looking for another doctor.
I live in small town so only two within 50 miles and the second doctor seems to be very good and I feel very comfortable with him. He spends time, answers my questions and is available when I need him.
Hope this helps...
Carol Ann :)

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