Bladder Cancer

Bladder Cancer

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Cancer of the bladder, the hollow organ where urine is stored, is fairly rare. Symptoms of bladder cancer include a change in urinary patterns and/or blood in the urine. Risk factors for bladder cancer include smoking, a history of having had bladder cancer, malformations of the bladder and exposure to certain types of chemicals.

Diagnostic services offered include:

  • Cystoscopy, a thin tube with a lens and a light that is passed into the bladder through the urethra.
  • Urine studies, to test for the presence of cancer cells
  • Imaging studies, including CT scan and MRI
  • Intravenous pyleogram, an imaging study that involves passing contrast dye into the ureters and bladder and taking an x-ray to allow the doctor to see the organs and look for the presence of tumors
  • Retrograde pyelography, a catheter is passed into the bladder or a ureter, injecting dye into the upper portion of the urinary tract to allow visualization of the organs and look for the presence of tumors
  • Biopsy, to find cancer cells and if detected, testing for type and how far the cancer may have progressed.

Our cancer treatment program, in collaboration with the physicians of Blue Ridge Cancer Care, provides the full range of bladder cancer treatments, including chemotherapy and radiation, on both an in-patient and out-patient basis. We emphasize a multidisciplinary approach to care. Every patient benefits from the collaborative expertise of an experienced team of specialists who meet regularly to discuss each patient's care and progress.

Our surgeons, specialists in minimally invasive procedures, have extensive experience treating all types of cancer. We encourage patients and their loved ones to participate in a wide range of complementary and alternative treatments, including support groups, nutritional counseling, massage and more.