Hi, I am new to the forum. My grandmother was recently diagnosed with Stage 4 Bladder cancer. She will be starting immunotherapy soon. Was wondering if anyone had some advice? Whether it has to do with medications she should be asking her doctor that could be hand in and with the immunotherapy? Or even other options for treatment.
The only symptom she had over the past few months is more of the urgency to urinate. Other than that she feels good, according to her. She was in and out of doctor's appointments this whole year between two knee surgeries. AS well as a follow-up appoint or two with a urologist a few months ago (had to do with a bladder life last year) according to the Urologist everything was fine. I believe it was around that time when my grandmother started to feel the urgency. As to why no one detected it, is a whole other story. Aside from having bladder cancer that runs in the family.
Welcome. I am sorry it has been almost a day for one of us to respond. We are all volunteers and some may simply be engaged with other activities. I just wanted you to know you are being seen.
A couple of questions. By stage 4 diagnosis, are you talking stage 4 as in the cancer has left the bladder or escaped? Immunotherapy is not normally part of stage 4 treatment. Your Grandmother's age could be part of this. How old is she and how is her general health? Is this a high grade or low DX?
Please add more questions as you go and pat yourself on the back. Caregivers are a very important piece of this. I am adding one more note that none of us are doctors but, mostly survivors that "have been there and done that". Keep in mind this is treatable and beatable for the majority.
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.
I assume that by "immunotherapy" you mean something like Keytruda. We also call BCG a form of immunotherapy that is used for non-invasive high-grade bladder cancer. If your grandmother is indeed stage 4 it is more likely that Ketruda is being used. This is a relatively new addition to bladder cancer treatment and has shown some real promise.
Several patients have posted here on the Forum about their experiences with this novel new treatment. At the very top of this page, on the upper right, there is a "SEARCH" function. You can use this to access a lot of posts from patients who mention Ketruda (not all are relevant to your questions, of course.)
Questions as to medications to have on hand or side effects should be directed to her doctors.
Diagnosis 2-08 Small papillary TCC; CIS
BCG; BCG maintenance
Vice-President, American Bladder Cancer Society