Newbie Here - When to Start Chemo

11 years 2 months ago #29160 by harleygirl
Replied by harleygirl on topic Newbie Here - When to Start Chemo
My Dad was diagnosed with high-grade aggressive bladder cancer at the age of 80. He was concerned that no doctor would take him on at his age but he had the surgery at age 80 and is now doing well at 83! We did not know enough about the disease to seek out an experienced bladder cancer surgeon and Dad suffered some complications but those might have happened no matter who did the surgery. He has the ileal conduit and seems to have adjusted to it quite well.

Please make sure your Mom gets to a qualified doctor who deals with bladder cancer on a regular basis.

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11 years 2 months ago #29159 by tlw
Replied by tlw on topic Newbie Here - When to Start Chemo
She is in Amarillo, TX so M.D. Anderson is an obvious choice. The problem is that she doesn't travel well alone and my work (in another state) makes it difficult for me to travel to Amarillo and back on a weekly basis. If we just had more info maybe it would be good news and we could calm down. The chemo threw us for a loop. Does an oncologist generally get involved at this point or do urologists handle chemo for bladder cancer.

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11 years 2 months ago #29157 by sara.anne
Replied by sara.anne on topic Newbie Here - When to Start Chemo
Your mother needs to be seen by a qualified urologist who knows something about bladder cancer. Apparently you have no pathology reports so you have NO idea of the type or extent of the cancer. IF this is indeed a superficial cancer, and is non-invasive, "chemotherapy" would not be the usual treatment.

I could write a book about why I think (my opinion) this is NOT the way to go. Where is your mother located? People on this list can recommend excellent centers/urologists in practically any part of the country. It is well worth the effort to travel a few miles for an opinion from someone who is an expert in this disease. Many urologists do not see much bladder cancer....prostates are their money-makers.

There are lots of informative resources available...quite a load of reading...Start under the HELP tab on our home page.

Best of luck to you and your mother.

Sara Anne

Diagnosis 2-08 Small papillary TCC; CIS
BCG; BCG maintenance
Vice-President, American Bladder Cancer Society
Forum Moderator

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11 years 2 months ago #29156 by Patricia
Replied by Patricia on topic Newbie Here - When to Start Chemo another seer we have here. I'm assuming by what you have written that he fulgurized the tumors in her bladder in the office and did not do a TURB in a hospital setting?
To get grade and stage she must be in a hospital and knocked out and a complete resection of the tumor/tumors to determine her stage and grade. I don't know if he means a wash of mitomycin or treatment with BCG (which isn't chemo but a TB strain)...Personally i would try to get her away from this uro and to a major medical center and urologist/surgeon who deals with lots of bladder cancer. Typically someone in an office setting does not deal with much bladder cancer. And he might just be blowing her off due to her age and actually older people in good health do very well with treatment but you need an expert. Tell me where she is located and i can suggest someone for a very important second opinion.

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11 years 2 months ago #29155 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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