My doctor found a small papillary tumor and I had it removed on Aug. 30, '14. I went back one month later and am going back for another scope tomorrow. I have read that the reoccurrence is about 70%. I am wondering what the time frame is for most people for reoccurrence. It's so scary feeling like you're waiting for the next shoe to fall. I'm also wondering what the chances are that if or when it reoccurs, how likely it would be for it to come back as an invasive type. My dr told me that it isn't likely and that it usually comes back as the same type. Can anyone shed some light on this? I'm scared.
Welcome! We have all been where you are, so we understand what you are feeling. I joke (only partially) that I didn't even know I had such a thing as a bladder!
The good news about many small papillary tumors is that they are low grade (meaning that they grow and spread very slowly) and, when caught early, are very treatable. The bad news, as you have read, is that they do tend to recur. No one knows what the time frame might be. Some come back very soon, some not for years, and many not at all.
This is why it is very important for you to keep your appointments for checkups. Usually they are every three months for two years, every six months until 5 years have passed, and then annually. This ensures that any recurrences are caught ASAP.
I am now over six years out with no recurrences. It has gotten so that I don't think of it often, but as the time for my annual checkup approaches I always wonder what they might find.
Wishing you the best of luck on your exam!
Diagnosis 2-08 Small papillary TCC; CIS
BCG; BCG maintenance
Vice-President, American Bladder Cancer Society
This will answer your questions. It's from the review in the "Articles of interest" section "Superficial Bladder Carcinoma-comprehensive review".
"Superficial bladder carcinoma includes a diverse group of lesions, ranging from Ta grade I to T1 grade III tumors and high-grade flat CIS. Although it is crucial to distinguish the small group of lesions that carry a serious risk of progression to life-threatening muscle invasive and metastatic disease, the vast majority of superficial tumors have low rates of progression. Rather, they have a significant tendency to recur at multiple sites throughout the urothelium. The natural history of superficial bladder carcinoma has been evaluated in several large studies.55,56,85–91 The rate of progression to muscle invasion or metastasis is 2% to 4% for grade I, 11% to 20% for grade II, and roughly 20% to 50% for grade III tumors. While grade tends to correlate with stage, high-grade Ta lesions are not substantially less dangerous than high-grade T1 lesions. Lebret and colleagues reported a 25% rate of progression to muscle-invasive disease and 12% bladder-cancer mortality rate among 32 patients with TaG3 disease with 5 years follow-up"