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Bladder Cancer

About 50,000 Americans develop bladder cancer each year, most of them men. While survival rates are improving, more than 10,000 Americans die from bladder cancer each year. Discovering and treating bladder cancer early offers the best chance for survival. That’s why we make it easy for you to obtain prevention information and screenings, receive treatment and get follow-up care. Your entire multidisciplinary team of physicians works together closely, focused on your care. They continually share information and ideas, providing the communication so essential to world-class care.

Early Detection and Treatment

One important key to successful fight against bladder cancer is early detection and treatment. Patients need treatment that offers every possible advantage, including fast diagnosis and the opportunity to review all treatment options quickly. Through St. John Providence Health System, patients can receive prevention and screening quickly, with a staff committed to providing the fastest and most comprehensive services available. Here’s how:

  • A nutrition and lifestyle counselor is available immediately to assess your risk for bladder cancer and discuss ways to minimize your risk for the disease.
  • A full range of screening options provides the potential for quick and accurate detection.
  • Patients have access to all national clinical trials.
  • Our multidisciplinary team of physicians work closely together to provide the optimal treatment regimen for every patient with bladder cancer, providing important advantages for those who:
    • Have recently been diagnosed with bladder cancer
    • Have previously untreated bladder cancer
    • Have undergone prior treatment for bladder cancer and are now experiencing a recurrence
    • Have been referred by their family physician or another surgeon for a second opinion about their bladder cancer

How To Reach Us

To schedule a consultation, call toll free, 1-866-246-4673

Second Opinion

Patients who have been diagnosed with bladder cancer may come to us for a second opinion consultation. Second opinions are strongly recommended for all cancer diagnoses, so that you and your oncologist can choose the best treatment. Patients should ask their physicians to submit pathology materials for our review; each case receives a written evaluation.

Who's On Your Team?

Our multidisciplinary approach to cancer care ensures that in a single visit, each patient receives a complete team of nationally recognized experts, including:

  • Urologist or urologic surgeon
  • Radiation Oncologist
  • Medical Oncologist
  • Occupational Therapist (if needed)
  • Oncology Nurse

How We Treat You

  • Nutrition and Lifestyle Counseling: Our staff counselor can work with you to create lifestyle and exercise guidelines to minimize your risk for bladder cancer, as well as taking your medical history to check for risk factors and symptoms.
  • Intravenous Pyelography (IVP): Contrast dye is injected intravenously, and x-ray images are taken at regular intervals as the dye travels through the kidneys and urinary tract. This enables the x-ray to highlight areas that do not ordinarily show on x-ray film.
  • Cystoscopy: A thin scope is inserted in order to provide a view of the bladder.
  • Urine cytology: The lab analyzes a urine sample or bladder washing (cells washed from the bladder) for pre-cancerous or cancerous cells.
  • Urine culture: The lab analyzes a urine sample for infection.
  • Flow cytometry or image cytometry: In a test often used to find recurring bladder cancer, the lab measures the amount of DNA in bladder cells taken from a urine sample, bladder washings, or tissue sample.
  • Biopsy: The doctor views a sample of bladder tissue under a microscope to determine if cancer is present and what type of bladder cancer it is.
  • Bladder tumor marker studies: The lab detects specific substances released by cancer cells into the urine.
  • Imaging Tests: Scans, MRI scans, x-rays, ultrasound, and bone scans can provide additional information and help determine whether the cancer has spread.

Reducing Your Risk

Lifestyle Counseling (see Specialized Services, above)
Of all the risk factors for bladder cancer, smoking is the highest. Smokers are more than twice as likely to get bladder cancer as nonsmokers. The best way to prevent bladder cancer is not to smoke. It is also important to drink plenty of fluids. In a recent study, people who drank at least 11 cups of fluids a day were half as likely to develop bladder cancer than people who drank fewer than 6 cups per day. Click here for more information.

Screening (see Specialized Services, above):
It is important to see your doctor immediately if you notice blood in your urine, which is painless and appears suddenly. The need to urinate frequently (and sometimes urgently), with or without pain may also indicate bladder cancer.

While these symptoms do not necessarily mean you have bladder cancer (it can also be an infection or kidney stones), our prompt screening services can put your mind at ease or help you begin fighting the disease as early as possible. While bladder cancer can occur at any age, it is seen most often in people aged 50 to 80.

More Information

You can find more information on bladder cancer from:
The National Cancer Institute (NCI)


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You are Unique

At St. John Providence Health System, we know that you’re a unique individual and not just a condition or a list of symptoms. We treat the whole person.

Get in touch with us so we can learn about you and give you the help you need for your individual situation.

Call 1-866-246-4673