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9 years 8 months ago #34618 by mmc

What an interesting project. Nobody ever seems to hear about bladder cancer until they get it so to hear about it as a high school project is good. It may even save some lives.

Here is a link to a treatment guide I put together a while back. http://bladdercancersupport.org/images/Bladder%20Cancer%20Treatment%20Guide%20v4.pdf

It shows the most likely treatment path depending on things like stage and grade.

For Stage 2 bladder cancer, as Pat said, it means that the cancer has penetrated the inner layers of the bladder into the muscle. Depending on how deep into the muscle, the surgeon will either administer chemotherapy before or after the surgery or not at all. The standard treatment for Stage 2 is removal of the bladder. In the old days, there was only one option and that was to remove the bladder and then connect the ureters to a stoma that would connect them to the outside of body. There, a urostomy bag, would be attached to catch urine and the person would dump it. That is still an option today and it is the easiest surgery to get.

There are other options however. In one, called a neobladder, a segment of the person's intestine is used to create a new bladder. It is connected to the original plumbing (ureters and urethra). While intestine is not muscle, it serves well as storage place for urine inside the body. Through various pelvic floor exercises, one learns to control urination. At first, there is pretty much no control but in a month or so many people are able to achieve day time continence. Over more time and schedule of waking up at night to urinate, the majority of people also achieve night time continence. When first made, the neobladder is fairly small (about 40-60cc capacity). By sticking to a schedule of how often to urinate, it can be slowly stretched to normal (around 400-600 cc) capacity.

Another option is the Indiana Pouch. They made a new bladder out of a segment of intestine, like the neobladder, but it is not connected to the urethra. There is a stoma created and often it can be hidden in the belly button. Nobody would ever know as the navel looks the same. In this case, a person uses a catheter through the stoma to urinate. This option is more typical for women as they have shorter urethras than men and the neobladder has a higher risk of incontinence or hypercontinence (not being able to go without catheterization) in women. There is also a higher risk of infection for women doing catheterizion than men because of the anatomy of where the urethra exits the body. This Indiana Pouch option is also popular if the cancer has spread to the urethra.

The surgery to remove the bladder is called a cystectomy. Here is a link that explains the options and what they do in each. http://my.clevelandclinic.org/services/urinary_reconstruction_and_diversion/hic_urinary_reconstruction_and_diversion.aspx

During the surgery, they also remove a number of lymph nodes to be sure that the cancer has not spread. The typical path of spread is through the lymphatic system. If there is any indication of cancer spread into the lymph nodes it is typical to administer courses of chemotherapy.

That's some of the basic treatment information. One key is that when being treated for stage 2 bladder cancer, one must find the most experienced surgeon in the particular urinary diversion they desire. These are typicall major cancer centers (but not all) or university teaching hospitals (again, not all). The outcomes are statistically better for those treated at the top bladder cancer hospitals.

So...there is a crash course in the treatment. I will make another post about the initial symptoms and emotions involved in the diagnosis.

Hope this helps you. We'd like you to get an A on this project. It would also be great as you educate others on the symptoms. Who knows? What you put in the paper may stick in someone's mind for years and then they get symptoms and get treated early and it saves their life down the road!


Age 54
10/31/06 dx CIS (TisG3) non-invasive (at 47)
9/19/08 TURB/TUIP dx Invasive T2G3
10/8/08 RC neobladder(at 49)
2/15/13 T4G3N3M1 distant metastases(at 53)
9/2013 finished chemo -cancer free again
1/2014 ct scan results....distant mets
2/2014 ct result...spread to liver, kidneys, and lymph...

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9 years 8 months ago #34615 by Alan

No problem on being a project. That's a great way to learn! Adding to my comments for myself, as goofy as it might sound again while no one wants cancer the postives I have found in many ways outweigh the negatives.

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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9 years 8 months ago #34613 by Patricia
Hi Student...would be glad to help you out.
Stage 2 means invasive into the muscle.
Here is a paper written by a well known bladder cancer surgeon and after reading you will probably be a bit confused because there's a lot more than just Stage. And surgery is different if you are a female or male.
Start with this and ask away.

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9 years 8 months ago #34612 by student11
I don't actually have bladder cancer, its just a project where I was "diagnosed" with bladder cancer. Just to clarify :)

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9 years 8 months ago - 9 years 8 months ago #34611 by Alan

More will chime in the next few days as many "lurk" and read. Not clear if this is a "make believe project". If you actually have BLC I am sorry you have this especially for being so young but, as you read other topics and forums there is lot of info here. By stage 2 are you saying grade or how far your tumor has moved into the bladder linings? The more information you have the better you will be able to help yourself with this. Have you had a TURB? What did the pathology say?

More directly to your question on how it changes one's life! While no one wants to have this-life goes on and for most we live with whatever we need to do to carry on. For me, it has made me value life and daily living more "intense" or enjoyable. It made me focus on my mortality to make each day a valuable one and enjoyable. My personal prognosis is very good. Might go another 25 years but, hey the turnip truck might hit me tonight and it could be over. Lot's of hope on this board and in this thing called cancer.

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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9 years 8 months ago #34609 by student11
Hi everyone.
I am a high school student doing a project in which I was diagnosed with bladder cancer and I have to figure out what my life is like now. I have been assigned with stage II bladder cancer and I was just wondering if I could get some feedback for you guys, the real sufferers. If you are willing, I would love to hear anything you want to tell me like: the ways its changed your daily life, how you chose your treatment (or the process of choosing), anything interesting you've learned, really anything you are willing to share with me would really help me out. Thank you so much, you guys are all so brave, you have no idea the respect and sadness I have for you struggling with or watching someone struggle with bladder cancer.

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