Hi Debbie, and welcome to our "club" even though I know you probably didn't want to join!!
I am assuming that your urologist did a cystoscopy...where he looked inside the bladder with a tiny camera...and he saw something that looked to him like it might be malignant. So he has scheduled you for a TURB (transurethral resection of the bladder) where he will do basically the same thing, except that you will be under a general anesthesia so that he can take samples of the tissues to send to a pathologist who will make the real diagnosis as to whether it is cancer or not and how far it may have advanced.
While your urologist has a lot of experience and can make educated guesses, it will only be after the TURB and the return of the pathology report that you will know for sure what you are facing.
As for the "chemo"....this is NOT like the systemic chemotherapy that you may have heard about with other cancers. He will probably do a wash of your bladder after the TURB with a chemo agent, Mitomycin, just to be sure that if any cells escaped when he was removing the samples that they won't reattach and cause another cancer (not all urologists include this step.) IF indeed you have a high grade bladder cancer, he will prescribe a series of treatments either with BCG (you can read a LOT about this if you search the Forum) or more Mitomycin. There is currently a huge shortage of BCG due to manufacturing problems, so he may use Mitomycin instead.
Either the Mitomyicin (or BCG) is used as a wash in the bladder. You do not receive it systemically and there are no side effects such as hair loss. You may feel irritation in the bladder and fatigue.
Wishing you the best...and please let us know what your pathology results are and what treatments are recommended for you.
Diagnosis 2-08 Small papillary TCC; CIS
BCG; BCG maintenance
Vice-President, American Bladder Cancer Society
I was diagnosed this week with a growth on my bladder after having bleeding and a cystoscopy. The surgeon says it is cancer. My surgery is scheduled for May 15. He said I will have chemo at that time and once a week for 6 weeks.
It all seems to be pretty straight forward and I'm not too worried, but wondering if I should be. I certainly think I need to get used to the cystoscopy! I wouldn't say it is painless, putting it in was a little awkward and uncomfortable!
I am now wondering if this chemo will make me lose my hair, since it seems to be more localized and not through my entire system. Any advice or words of wisdom?