Urology Specialists Treat Bladder Cancer at Mercy Medical Center

At The Urology Specialists of Maryland at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, a team of cancer specialists and urologists uses the latest surgical technologies to provide treatment for bladder cancer.

About Bladder Cancer

Bladder cancer starts in the bladder, which stores urine for your body. It is the most common cancerous tumor of the urinary tract. Bladder cancer often begins in the cells lining the inside of the bladder and can take years for those cells to become cancerous.

Bladder cancer is most common in people over 60 and affects men more than women. Most bladder cancers are diagnosed in the early stages when it is very treatable. Unfortunately, it is a highly recurring type of cancer.

Symptoms & Diagnosis

Symptoms of bladder cancer may be similar to other bladder conditions and the experts of The Urology Specialists of Maryland can help define your illness. Early stage bladder cancer symptoms include:

Symptoms of more advanced bladder cancer include:

  • Pain in the lower back
  • Pain in the pelvic area or a growth in the pelvic area

A number of diagnostic procedures help urologists diagnose bladder cancer. They include:

  • Cystoscopy – a narrow tube that has a lens and fiber-optic lighting is inserted into the urethra (the tube that connects the bladder to the genitals for fluid removal) to help the physician see the inside of the bladder
  • Biopsy – during the cystoscopy procedure, the doctor may collect a cell sample for testing
  • Urine cytology – urine is examined under a microscope to check for cancer cells
  • Imaging – tests that involve injected dye or computerized tomography (CT) scans can help the doctor get a better view of the urinary tract and the surrounding areas including the bladder and kidneys
Treatment Options for Bladder Cancer

Depending on how advanced the bladder cancer is, the patient’s overall health and preferences, treatment options include:

  • Surgery – There are several surgical options depending on the extent of the cancer in the bladder area:
    • Surgery to remove the tumor
    • Surgery to remove the tumor and a portion of the bladder
    • Surgery to remove the entire bladder
      • In men, this surgery may include the removal of the prostate and seminal vesicles
      • In women, this surgery may include the removal of the uterus, ovaries and part of the vagina
    • Surgery to create a new way to release urine from the body, which can include:
      • Releasing the urine into a urostomy bag that the patient wears under his clothing
      • Creating  a place for urine to collect inside your body which is drained through a hole in the abdomen with a catheter
      • Creating a urine reservoir that is attached to the urethra allowing normal urination
  • Post Surgery Drug Therapies – drug therapies are often used to kill any remaining cancer cells after surgery. They include:
    • Chemotherapy – may involve the administration of one or more drugs either in the arm or directly to the bladder
    • Radiation Therapy – while radiation therapy is not used as often for people with bladder cancer, it is an additional treatment option for killing any remaining cancer cells. Radiation is administered using highly directed beams through the body in precise points. It is sometimes used with chemotherapy drug treatment.
The Urology Specialists of Maryland at Mercy - recognized for expert urologic disease diagnosis and treatment, covering a broad range of disorders including prostate, bladder and kidney diseases and cancers.