Welcome to our "club"....I know you would rather not join!
It would appear that the urologist thinks that you might have early bladder cancer, but he (and you) won't know for sure until the procedure (I assume this is a TURB or transurethral resection of the bladder) is done. He will remove the tumors and will take multiple small samples of the suspect areas. These will be sent to a pathologist who will analyze the tissue under a microscope and determine for sure if it is cancer or not. And, IF it is cancer, he will try to determine from the samples if it is still confined to the bladder lining or has spread into the other tissues. He will also determine if it is low grade (very slow growing) or high grade (rapidly dividing).
The usual protocol for low grade bladder cancer, after the urologist has removed the tumors during the TURB, is very careful watching.....as your urologist said, a cystoscopy every three months for several years, then every six months until five years have passed, and then annually forever. The reason for this is that bladder cancer, even low grade, has a nasty habit of coming back. You, and the urologist, want to be sure that if it does it is caught very early.
A six-week wait for the TURB procedure is not unusual and will not affect the outcome. It does, I know, add to your anxiety because you want this over and done with, one way or another. Whatever is there has no doubt been there for quite some time already. I had to wait a bit longer than that because it was the end of the year and everyone was scheduling procedures to get in under their annual insurance deductible and the holidays limited the number of days available. Besides, I had a fabulous trip to Antarctica scheduled!! So my urologist told me that he "didn't think it was cancer, but we needed to be sure." Now that I know him better, he KNEW.
I could tell you not to worry, but you will anyway! Just remember that bladder cancer, found early and treated, is highly curable.
We will be thinking of you. Please ask any questions you want and let us know what happens.
Diagnosis 2-08 Small papillary TCC; CIS
BCG; BCG maintenance
Vice-President, American Bladder Cancer Society
I have had blood in urine per dr seeing in lab. I finally went to urologist and had cysto. He found tiny fingerlike structure and small red spot. Told me not to worry no chemo no radiation but that I would be seeing him every 3 months. But I cant have procedure done for 6 weeks. Is this normal and should I be worried more than I already am.