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Doctor insights on: Side Effects Of Bcg Treatment For Bladder Cancer

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Is BCG treatment for bladder cancer the same as chemotherapy?

Is BCG treatment for bladder cancer the same as chemotherapy?

No: Bcg is a topical therapy that is essentially a type of immune based therapy applied only to bladder cells. Traditional chemotherapy is given intravenously and thus all body cells are exposed. Some chemotherapy drugs can be given topically like BCG and probably exert their effect via typical cancer cell-killing compared to immune stimulating effects of BCG similarly administered. ...Read more

Dr. Barry Rosen
4,344 doctors shared insights

Cancer (Definition)

Cancer is a group of diseases that is characterized by uncontrolled cell growth leading to invasion of surrounding tissues that spread to other parts of the body. Cancer can begin anywhere in the body and is usually related to one or more genetic mutations that allow normal cells to become malignant by interfering with internal cellular control mechanisms, such as programmed cell death or by preventing ...Read more


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Does BCG treatment for bladder cancer decrease your immune system?

Does BCG treatment for bladder cancer decrease your immune system?

See below : Intravesical BCG used to both treat and prevent recurrence of urothelial bladder cancer. Despite its widespread common usage, its specific mechanism of action poorly understood. BCG is an attenuated form of the bacteria that causes TB (much like a vaccine) that "stimulates" (not weakens) ones immune system in such a way to kill the tumor cells. Pts with weak immune systems have poorer responses. ...Read more

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I failed interferon treatment and BCG treatment for bladder cancer. Is surgery the only option left?

I failed interferon treatment and BCG treatment for bladder cancer. Is surgery the only option left?

Probably best option: If you have failed tretament with BCG and interferon, some patients may reposnd to treatment with valstar (valrubicin). However, depending on the specifics of your bladder cancer, cystectomy and urinary diversion may be your best option. You should discuss this with your urologist. ...Read more

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I was diagnosed with bladder cancer in 1980 and one treatment with BCG 1990, since then one tumor and haven't had tumor since 2000. Do i need a cysto ?

I was diagnosed with bladder cancer in 1980 and one treatment with BCG 1990, since then one tumor and haven't had tumor since 2000. Do i need a cysto ?

Maybe: I think you can avoid a cystoscopy if you do not have any symptoms and your urinalysis is normal. Also, I would base it on your original pathology. If it was a low grade tumor you can hold off. You could do a urine cytology, urine sample looking for abnormal cells, to insure there is no evidence of a more aggressive tumor. ...Read more

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Please explain BCG bladder cancer treatment.?

Please explain BCG bladder cancer treatment.?

Immune system based: Bcg is a weakened bacteria in the family of germs that causes tuberculosis. In bladder cancer, it is believed that interactions of BCG and molecules in the cellular structure of the bladder itself induces an immune-mediated response which can cause superficial cancers of the bladder to regress and can delay or prevent recurrence in many cases. It is usually given weekly for 6 weeks to start. ...Read more

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Is BCG bladder cancer treatment effective or not?

Is BCG bladder cancer treatment effective or not?

Yes: In fact after removal of superficial bladder cancer (not invasive), the standard of care is BCG injections in the bladder for 6 weeks. It is very effective in reducing recurrence. ...Read more

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If my bladder cancer recurrence after BCG treatment, what is the next option?

If my bladder cancer recurrence after BCG treatment, what is the next option?

BCG plus interferon : There is evidence that BCG plus ifn can salvage or successfully treat people who have failed BCG alone. Also, your overall risk depends on the grade and stage of your original cancer. If it is low grade low stage, then the overall risk is quite different than patient with high grade superficial bladder cancer. ...Read more

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For a 70-year-old man who was recently diagnosed with bladder cancer, is BCG a reasonable 1st treatment?

For a 70-year-old man who was recently diagnosed with bladder cancer, is BCG a reasonable 1st treatment?

Maybe: Bcg is a first good step but depends on the biopsy specimen. Bcg is standard treatment for certain types of bladder cancer and if the patient meets those criteria, then it is a good first step. It is not necessarily dependent on age. ...Read more

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I had T1 bladder cancer and I had BCG a treatment. Cani have Schingles vaccine?

Yes.: Ask your doctor, of course, since your particular circumstance may differ...but intravesicular (in the bladder) BCG treatment for superficial bladder cancer does not make shingles vaccine dangerous or ineffective. Your age and medical history put you at enough risk of shingles that a vaccination is beneficial. ...Read more

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BCG treatment to reduce recurrence rate for bladder cancer.I have 2 nd bladder tumor after 5 year of the first.This mean the BCG work or not?

Yes it works: in selective oatients , Intra bladder installation of BCG is very effective in 70% of time for non invasive bladder cancers . Speak to your doctor if you are a candidate or not . ...Read more

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My mom 68 is diagnosed with bladder cancer t1 grade 2-3. They’re suggesting a second TURBT 3 weeks after the first and BCG treatment will start later.how serious is her case? Will she be ok ?

My mom 68 is diagnosed with bladder cancer t1 grade 2-3. They’re suggesting a second TURBT 3 weeks after the first and BCG treatment will start later.how serious is her case? Will she be ok ?

Not very serious: This is early stage of bladder Cancer which is superficial(not going into the muscle layer).
After the bulk of the tumor is removed with TURBT, BCG treatments are instilled into the bladder cavity once week. This is a form of immunotherapy which can control early bladder cancer in most cases. She will need periodic monitoring to follow the tumor and see how she is doing over the next several years ...Read more

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Will treatment with BCG for bladder cancer cause possible complications to a recent aortic tissue valve replacement?

Will treatment with BCG for bladder cancer cause possible complications to a recent aortic tissue valve replacement?

Not likely: This is a reasonable concern, but this would be an unusual complication. A 2010 study in journal of urology found that this complication is no more likely in patients with valves and other prostheses than in the general population, and that having a valve should not prevent you from receiving this treatment. ...Read more

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I have had 4 turb's for non invasive bladder cancer and have decided not to have BCG treatments. Can I just have my bladder removed?

I have had 4 turb's for non invasive bladder cancer and have decided not to have BCG treatments. Can I just have my bladder removed?

Not standard: Local bladder therapy such as BCG and others can put off the need for bladder removal for quite a period. Bladder removal can be done but urine pathway reconstruction will need to be surgically done too. Your urologist can discuss other local treatment drugs besides bcg. Finally, many centers are looking at robotic bladder surgery. ...Read more

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What is the most effective treatment for bladder cancer in men?

What is the most effective treatment for bladder cancer in men?

Removal of cancer: Resection of tumor followed by intravesicle (in the bladder) medication is standard if care. If its in the muscle removing the bladder or chemo/radiation to try for cure. For more: www.Peedoc.Com @thepeedoc. ...Read more

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Is brachytherapy with iodine-125 an effective treatment for bladder cancer?

No: Brachytherapy is not a standard form of therapy for bladder cancer. The treatment options for bladder include radical surgery or chemotherapy with radiation. Brachytherapy is a very good option for select patients with prostate cancer. ...Read more

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What will happen after treatment for bladder cancer?

Bladder Cancer: This depends on the extent of surgery/treatment and whether part of the bladder is resected, the whole bladder - requiring a urinary division procedure - or localized intra vesicular procedures. In some cases, an adjuvant drug, such as bcg, is used inside the bladder. The best resource I use is http://www.Cancer.Gov/cancertopics/pdq/treatment/bladder/patient/page1. ...Read more

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What is the best treatment for bladder cancer?

What is the best treatment for bladder cancer?

Consult specialist: If there is a diagnosis you should see a urologist and hematologist/oncologist asap. ...Read more

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What are the current treatment options for bladder cancer?

What are the current treatment options for bladder cancer?

Surgery: Depending on the stage and type of bladder cancer, treatment will vary. This includes observation, instilling medicines into the bladder (bcg), radical surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. The appropriate treatment will be dependent on the stage, type of cancer, and patient preference. ...Read more

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Hello Dr Bennett, I have experienced hardening of the bladder wall after chemo and radio treatment for stage 4 bladder cancer, will this condition go?

Hello Dr Bennett, I have experienced hardening of the bladder wall after chemo and radio treatment for stage 4 bladder cancer, will this condition go?

Will remain: Best results are for lesions of the mucosa. Once bladder wall invaded, especially with extension beyond the bladder then depending on overall situation, radical cystectomy with neobladder utilized. If lesion too advanced primary lesion therapy may be relegated to local RT chemo for control of symptoms. ...Read more

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How often does bladder cancer come back? After successful bladder cancer treatment, is it common for it to come back? Can it grow back as a metastatic cancer even after having your whole bladder removed?

How often does bladder cancer come back? After successful bladder cancer treatment, is it common for it to come back? Can it grow back as a metastatic cancer even after having your whole bladder removed?

Stage dependent: It depends on the stage and type of bladder cancer when it was diagnosed as well as whether or not all recommended treatments wee taken. It can metastasize and that is why some patients need chemotherapy whennsafenafter surgery. It takes only remnant microscopic cells to have leaked out before surgery for it to get into the blood stream or outside the bladder. Stats are stage and path dependent. ...Read more

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Best guess what would is the prognosis of an 87 y/o w/ metastatic bladder cancer that spread to the lung without treatment and is otherwise healthy?

Best guess what would is the prognosis of an 87 y/o w/ metastatic bladder cancer that  spread to the lung without treatment and is otherwise healthy?

Enjoy each day: She may develop pneumonia and be gone at any time. Or it may stay almost stable and allow her several more good years. Cherish however much or little time you have with your loved one. There is no predicting the time left. ...Read more

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How long can a persn live with invasive bladder cancer without treatment (t1g3)?

How long can a persn live with invasive bladder cancer without treatment (t1g3)?

Bladder ca: Nobody can predict. Grade 3 has a higher chance of recurrence and progressive. Treatment is highly recommended but nodoby can accurately tell you a time line in this areas. It could be months to years before someone could die depending on the cancer. ...Read more

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Bloody urine with some clots, painful urination. All went away after treatment on bactrim (sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim). Lab report not in. Is this likely UTI or bladder cancer?

Bloody urine with some clots, painful urination.  All went away after treatment on bactrim (sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim). Lab report not in. Is this likely UTI or bladder cancer?

UTI: Although statistically, hematuria in this setting is most likely due to cystitis/uti, i would still recommend cystoscopy and upper tract imaging to rule out other more serious causes especially if there is not a strongly positive urinerr culture. ...Read more

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I had BCG chemo for bladder cancer & developed serious infection requiring hospitalization. What other chemo drug can be used?

I had BCG chemo for bladder cancer & developed serious infection requiring hospitalization. What other chemo drug can be used?

It depends: Bcg sepsis is a known, yet uncommon complication of BCG treatment for bladder cancer. The next option really depends on your specific bladder cancer - your urologist will be bettre ablet o discuss this with you. The next option may be for intravesical mitomycing, intravesical valrubicin, or possibly cystectomy. ...Read more

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Bladder cancer path showed stage 1 noninvasive. Instead of next step being chemo or BCG Dr is doing another biopsy to "re-look". Opinions please?

Rebiopsy possible: Pre invasive bladder Ca means lesion is confined to lining and has not invaded muscle. No problem in rebiopsy but after that even if neg. there is usually a field effect in which benign appearing cells adjacent to a tumor are p remalignant. On that basis it would be better to have BCG treatment after the second look and then follow carefully ...Read more

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Inc in creatinine (2.0 vs 1.6) post hosp for kidney reaction (creat 5, then ret to normal) to BCG for 0-stage bladder cancer. 79 yo cauc m good health?

Inc in creatinine (2.0 vs 1.6) post hosp for kidney reaction (creat 5, then ret to normal) to BCG for 0-stage bladder cancer. 79 yo cauc m good health?

Ok: The fact that your creatinine returned from 5 to 1.6 means your kidney "failure" was acute and reversible. Serum creatinine of 1.6 for a 79 year old is very good. Best of luck. ...Read more

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Is BCG better than chemotherapy for bladder cancer?

Is BCG better than chemotherapy for bladder cancer?

Yes: Yes b c g is better tolerated by patients than intravenous chemotherapy. But if you thinking of intravesical chemotherapy than there is no difference in the tolarability or the effectiveness. ...Read more

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Should teenage girls be vaccinated with BCG against bladder cancer?

No: Bcg is not a vaccine that prevents bladder cancer. It is used as a treatment for certain types of superficial bladder cancer by being placed directly into the bladder. It is believed to stimulate an immune response against the tumor itself. ...Read more

Bladder (Definition)

The bladder is a muscular organ in the pelvis that accepts urine from the kidneys, stores the urine at low pressure, & expels the urine during voluntary voiding. Though seemingly a simple reservoir, the bladder is a complex organ intricately connected with the brain and spinal cord with sensory, motor, and autonomic circuits. The muscular layer that contracts during voids ...Read more


Dr. Terence Chapman
288 doctors shared insights

Bladder Cancer (Definition)

The bladder is the organ which holds urine. As any other organ, it can develop cancer. There are two types: superficial bladder cancer and muscle invasive bladder cancer. The differences are important as they ...Read more