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BCG question - low grade non invasive

7 months 1 week ago #59053 by sara.anne
Sorry to hear of your recurrence.

The mitomycin used after a TURB is to try to prevent any cells released by the TURB from spreading and also giving a "wack" to any remaining cells. The purpose of BCG is to stimulate the immune system of the bladder lining so that any new cancer cells are attacked immediately and rejected.

I am sure that you have read here on the Forum and elsewhere about the "horrors" of BCG. As someone who when through the six week induction series and then every three months for almost 2 years at an age less than 10 years younger than you I can tell you that it is no big deal. First, remember that those who have issues are many times more likely to post their problems than someone who has minimal problems and isn't even looking online! Yes, there are side effects. For most of us they are some fatigue usually the following day and urinary urgency and some bleeding. I could work the next day. If you consider the side effects that patients who need traditional chemotherapy have the effects of BCG are nothing. AND it can be bladder saving and life saving.

If this is your first recurrence it is very likely that your urologist may not recommend BCG right now. Particularly since it has been five years since the initial episode. If it had come back immediately he probably would react differently.

Let us know what happens!!

Sara Anne

Diagnosis 2-08 Small papillary TCC; CIS
BCG; BCG maintenance
Vice-President, American Bladder Cancer Society
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7 months 1 week ago #59052 by BadBladd
Yes it does. I have low grade - 5 years all clear. 2 weeks ago noticed gross hematuria-small amount. Last checkup august '19. If this turns out to be a recurrence, I really do not want bcg. I am 80 and that regimen sounds beyond my level of endurance - If it is a recurrence I am hoping for surg with mitomycin which was my first treatment. Thanks so much for your input.

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7 months 1 week ago #59051 by sara.anne
You are correct....BCG is not used in cases of first time low grade bladder cancer. There is a good chance that it will not return, or if it does once it can be handled by conscientious monitoring. There are side effects which do increase with additional use and it is considered best to "save" this treatment in case it is needed later. If, however, the low grade cancer continues to return (and it can do this...) then BCG is used.

Hope this helps?

Sara Anne

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

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7 months 1 week ago #59050 by BadBladd
I have seen articles that state bcg is not used for first time low grade bladder cancers. I am wondering if it is also NOT used for low grade recurrent bladder cancer. Thanks.

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