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BCG side effects?

1 year 8 months ago #56552 by jaimster
I m on my 4th dosage so far no major side effects.. i understand they do prepare the dosage there at clinic . so im wondering if dosage changes according to each situation.
i also make the appoinments for Fridays , i do go back to work after it them the weekend to rest no problem!
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1 year 8 months ago #56547 by RVGramma01
Thank you for the information, it certainly helps. :)
My diagnosis is pT1, High Grade Urothelial Carcinoma. It was 4-5 centimeters. Dr said he got down to pink, healthy tissue during the first Cysto, told us after the second one that he saw “good healing” and didn’t see any regrowth of cancerous tissue.
Yesterday was my second post-op so we scheduled the BCG starting Jan 14.
Thanks also for the encouraging words.
Congratulations on 11 years! I hope to be able to say the same!

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1 year 8 months ago #56544 by sara.anne
There is a LOT of information on the Forum about BCG and side effects. You can use the "Search" function at the top right of this page. Please remember that people who have very minor side effects are not as likely to post about them as those who have PROBLEMS.

What was your diagnosis from the pathology report? BCG is very effective in high grade bladder cancer; not so much if the initial diagnosis is low grade.

Briefly, the purpose of BCG is to stimulate the immune system of the bladder tissue to reject the cancer cells. While the side effects vary, the tend to be minor during the first few administrations and increase as the immune system kicks up (which is what you want to happen.) In my case the day of administration was uncomfortable, with cramping and urgency and some bleeding. The most noticeable side effect was fatigue for a day or so after, and, as the treatments continued I sometimes felt as if I had an acute UTI...with burning and urgency. I didn't feel great, but could have worked (desk job) after the first day. I didn't, for example, go to concerts where I would have had to climb over a bunch of people to get to a restroom quickly, or fly on a plane.

As I mentioned above, the side effects do increase as the treatments continue. For high grade bladder cancer, an initial induction period of 6 weeks is usually prescribed, followed by maintenance treatments....generally for three weeks every three months for two years. By the time I completed this, I was down to 1/3 the original dose (as little as 1/10th as been shown to be effective) and several times had to skip a treatment due to excessive irritation from BCG-induced cystitis.

BCG was not the most fun I have had B) but was very do-able and I am now almost 11 years cancer-free.

You will do fine also

Sara Anne

Diagnosis 2-08 Small papillary TCC; CIS
BCG; BCG maintenance
Vice-President, American Bladder Cancer Society
Forum Moderator
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1 year 8 months ago #56543 by RVGramma01
Hi. My History: Diagnosed Oct 2018. 1st Cysto Nov 10, 2018, 4cm tumor removed.
CT showed small nodule in lung, biopsied Nov 28-they missed the node.
PET CT showed no metastasis of Bladder Cancer in lung, possible slow growing Lung Cancer So Pulmonary requesting a reschedule biopsy for Jan 7.
2nd Cysto Dec 10-no regrowth, healing nicely.
Have scheduled first round of BCG starting Jan 14 for 6 weeks & 3rd Cysto scheduled for March 15.
What kinds of side effects from the BCG Induction has anyone experienced? I’m 58 & still working so need to schedule time off. Trying to figure out how much time to take? I figured for the first one, I would take 2 days, but wondering if the side effects will make it hard to be at work?
Thank You in advance. This site has been helpful and it’s good to read about what others have experienced-don’t feel quite so alone!

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