Norwood Lateral Closure – How it may affect your drive to The Urology Group. Click for alternate routes.

Chances of Surviving Bladder Cancer Are Improving, Thanks to Research

May 01, 2023 | By: J. Lisette Bennett, MD

Bladder cancer is not the most common of diseases. Few people might know what color ribbon supports a cure, for example, or even where their bladders are located. Still, bladder cancer has its own “awareness” month, and that awareness is making survival possible for hundreds of people each year.

While nearly 16,700 people in the U.S. are expected to die from bladder cancer in 2023, that figure is down by 400 from one year ago.

Breakthrough innovations in cancer treatment options, through clinical trials, make such improvements possible. This is especially the case when the cancer is caught early.

To honor Bladder Cancer Awareness Month, we looked into some recent advancements that show promise in stopping the disease in the early stages, as well as later-stage care options.

What Happens When You Develop Bladder Cancer

The bladder is a hollow organ that stores urine until it’s time to go. In some people, the cells in the bladder begin to multiply at an uncontrollable rate, due to a mutation, and develop into malignant (cancerous) tumors.

This mutation typically occurs among cells in the innermost lining of the bladder. If undetected, the tumors can invade the bladder muscle (Stage II), surrounding tissue (Stage III), and other organs and lymph nodes (Stage IV).

Common symptoms include blood in the urine, back pain, and frequent, painful urination.

Why Do Some People Get Bladder Cancer?

Nearly 82,300 people are expected to be diagnosed with bladder cancer in 2023. Risk factors include smoking, age, and gender. The malignancy occurs three times more frequently in men than women, for example, and nine in 10 of those diagnosed are older than 55.

Exposure to certain industrial chemicals and radiation can contribute to the formation of tumors as well,  research has shown. Specifically, women who have received radiation treatment for cervical cancer may be at elevated risk.

Finding Cures, and Confidence, in Clinical Trials

Thanks to researchers and patient volunteers, clinical trials of new cancer-fighting drugs and devices are helping reduce the number of bladder cancer cases and deaths. Rates for both are down by an estimated 2% a year since 2015.

One important advancement involves a mix of drugs that prompt the immune system to attack cancer cells. These drugs, called immune checkpoint inhibitors, essentially teach the body to instinctively fight the disease.

Finding the Right Bladder Cancer Treatment for You

If you’re living with bladder cancer, such new drug therapies could help stop it. In addition, we offer these minimally invasive treatments for the early stages of the disease:

  • Transurethral resection of the bladder (TURB) – The surgeon removes small tumors from the bladder lining using a scope that is inserted through the urethra.
  • Intravesical therapy – Applying medicine through a catheter, usually weekly for six weeks (with possible booster treatments).

If the patient has entered stages II through IV, we provide these options:

  • Partial bladder removal – This surgery cuts out the parts of the bladder invaded by tumors. Radiation and chemotherapy may follow.
  • Total bladder removal (radical cystectomy) – Surgically removing the entire bladder and surrounding lymph nodes. The surgeon then creates an artificial bladder, sometimes from parts of the intestine.
  • Chemotherapy (before surgery) – Administering a single drug or combination of drugs to shrink the tumor before surgery and prevent tumor regrowth after surgery.
  • Chemotherapy and radiation – If the cancer is too advanced to treat with surgery, the oncologist might advise this combination.

Earn a Blue, Yellow, and Purple Ribbon for Bladder Cancer Awareness

Curing cancer requires research, which is why clinical trials are required for collecting crucial data about new drugs, devices, and treatments.

If you have been diagnosed with bladder cancer, you might qualify for a clinical trial. Ask your physician, or check out the clinical trials in which our urologists are participating, here.

Further, the website ClinicalTrials.Gov provides global information on trials that are recruiting patients.

To learn more about bladder cancer and post-operative care options we provide for patients, visit our dedicated microsite here.

Recent Featured Blog Posts

  1. The PSA Test: A Helpful Screening Tool

    Recent reports have caused confusion about PSA screening, an important diagnostic tool for prostate health.

    Read More
  2. 4 Common Female Sexual Health Issues: How to Detect Them, and What to Do Next

    An estimated four in 10 women experience sexual problems at some point in their lives. The causes can range from hormone changes to infections.

    Read More
  3. Kegels – They’re for Men, Too: 3 Exercises to Curb ED

    We’re talking about the pelvic floor muscles that support and surround your genital area. Though generally recognized as the muscles that help stop the flow of urine, they do a lot more. For men, this includes helping the penis achieve and maintain an erection, as well as prevent premature ejaculation.

    Read More

Virtual Assistant

Virtual Assistant

How may I assist you today?

I need help with ‘Directions & Hours’
(Please select a location from the list below)
I need help with ‘ Billing Questions’
(Please select an option below)

I need help with ‘Billing Questions’

What number should I call to pay my bill?

If your bill is from The Urology Group, please call (513) 841-7474 to pay your bill.

If your bill is from The Urology Center, please call (513) 841-7475 to pay your bill.

I need help with ‘Making, Rescheduling or Confirming an Appointment’

If you would like us to call you to set up an appointment, please click here to request a call back.

If you would like to call us, please call
513-841-7400
to speak with a representative.
Our hours are:

Monday-Friday: 7:30am – 5:00pm

I need help with ‘Questions About Test Results’

please call us at:

513-841-7400

Our hours are:

Monday-Friday: 7:30am – 5:00pm

I need help with ‘Medication Refills’

please call us at:

513-841-7400

Our hours are:

Monday-Friday: 7:30am – 5:00pm

I need help with ‘Returning a Call from the Office’

please call us at:

513-841-7400

Our hours are:

Monday-Friday: 7:30am – 5:00pm

I need help with ‘A Copy of My Medical Records’

please call us at:

513-841-7400

Our hours are:

Monday-Friday: 7:30am – 5:00pm