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Dad has just been diagnosed with small cell bladder cancer in Australia

2 years 1 month ago #56418 by jmhess50
I was diagnosed with small cell cancer of the bladder in early 2015... I went through chemo (etopiside and cisplatin) to "kill" the tumor before removing the bladder, prostate, and lymph nodes. I had a great doctor at Foxchase Cancer Center in Philadelphia and he is an expert on small cell bladder cancer-he only sees about 3 patients a year with this diagnosis because it is extremely rare. The prognosis is not good and I really did not expect to make it through the treatments. I have a pouch, am living an active life, and I am happy to be one of the fortunate ones. Give my prayers and regards to your Dad. There is a great life ahead for him!!

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2 years 2 months ago #56130 by sara.anne
If the doctor removed the tumor it would have been very unusual NOT to have the tissue sent to a pathology lab for
exact diagnosis. In fact, in the US it would be mandatory. I suspect that this was done in your father's case and that when he said he wouldn't biopsy it I think he meant before the surgery to remove it.

As you know, small cell is not as common as the usual bladder cancer. There have been a number of members here who have had it. Go to the Search function at the top right of this page and search the Forum for Small Cell Bladder Cancer.

Often chemotherapy is recommended even if the bladder is removed since it is always possible that microscopic tumors have colonized elsewhere in the body.

Sara Anne

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

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2 years 2 months ago #56129 by Alan
Welcome, just sorry with what you are dealing with. The biggest question I have with your doctor is: How does he know it is small cell without a biopsy? Visual isn't enough, and I am not a doctor. My surgeon opined my tumor was low grade but, he said wait until the biopsy and he was surprised it was high grade and he has done many TURBS.

Next issue. Chemo is usually done systemically to kill any cancer cells that may lurk before a cystectomy. More as a preventive situation. Radiation is usually NOT recommended for several reasons.

Small cell is rare. There are a few people that visit this site so maybe someone can shed more insight. It is a very serious form of cancer assuming that is the proper diagnosis. If possible, you want to go to your very best Australian hospital that handles bladder cancer.

Pat yourself on the back as the journey goes. You Dad is fortunate to have caring people on his side in this fight! Keep posting as you have other questions.

DX 5/6/2008 TAG3 papillary tumor .5 CM in size. 2 TURBS followed by 6 instillations of BCG weekly with a second round of 6 after a 6 week wait.

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2 years 2 months ago #56127 by Yetanotherjen
Is anyone still currently battling this and can chat about it.
We are in Australia and my father has just been diagnosed with stage two. The surgeon said it wasn’t into the fatty layer only the muscle when he removed the entire tumour.
He wouldn’t biopsy it he just removed it at this stage but now my dad is looking at having his whole bladder out. The surgeon said that this type doesn’t respond to chemo which isn’t correct from the info I’ve read online. I’m super worried the doctors here wouldn’t have seen enough or any cases to know how to treat this. Am I correct in saying he may still need chemo if the entire tumour has now been removed and my dad has his bladder out of its only stage two or will it have not spread if not stage three into the fatty layer? He is having his full body scan in the coming days.
I’m just feeling a bit lost and worried.

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