Local therapies such as Surgery and radiation therapy only remove cancer cells in the area that has been treated. Chemotherapy is a systemic therapy since it has the potential to kill cancer cells found in any part of the body.
A high-energy ray-like radiation can get rid of cancer cells and normal cells on its path. Oftentimes, it has been used as an alternative treatment for surgery. External Radiation is produced by a machine outside the person’s body. The treatment is done for 5 days in a span of 5-7 weeks. Internal Radiation, on the other hand could be given through a small radioactive material which could be inserted via the urethral opening or creating an abdominal incision. The pellet could be removed by the time treatment is complete. The consequence of radiation therapy is that it kills some normal cells, so the patient might experience more general body symptoms such as weakened immune defenses and fatigue.
Chemotherapy involves the use of medications to get rid of cancer cells. It could be administered along with radiation therapy, surgery or with the combination of the two. Unfortunately, chemotherapy gives the person some unpleasing side effects. The side effects experienced vary on the drug or combination of drugs being used and the frequency of chemotherapy sessions, or the person’s exposure to the chemotherapeutic agents. These side effects also depend on the person if he/she could tolerate the medications or not. The most common side effects experienced are nausea, vomiting, appetite loss, falling off of hair (alopecia) and weakness or fatigue.
Other therapies such as biological therapy could be recommended.
Surgical operations are the most used treatments for bladder cancer. The operation for the person depends on the stage and grade of tumor. The common surgeries for bladder cancer are as follows:
• Transurethral Resection of the Bladder (TURP)
In this surgical operation, an instrument is placed in the urethra and is pushed into the bladder. The tumor is removed through a small wire loop on the instrument’s other end by means of cutting or burning.
• Radical Cystectomy
This one involves removing the whole urinary bladder organ along with the lymph nodes surrounding the area; this is done to prevent metastasis of cancer cells to other organs, especially the vital ones. Partial cystectomy only involves removing a part of the bladder.