Bladder Cancer Treatment

Bladder Cancer Treatment

What is Bladder Cancer?

Bladder cancer occurs when cells in the bladder tissue become cancerous.  This can be due to transitional cells in the lining of the bladder becoming cancerous, or less commonly due to squamous cells or glandular cells growing and multiplying in the bladder when they aren’t supposed to.  This article will address treatment options and prevention of bladder cancer, and how Chinese Medicine can help.

Bladder Cancer Treatment

Bladder Cancer Treatment:

Bladder cancer is classified into stages zero to four, from localised to more spread-out areas of cancer.  Treatment options for bladder cancer will depend on what stage your cancer is at, your symptoms and your health overall.

Immunotherapy is when you take a medication to make your immune system attack cancer cells.  If you have stage zero or one bladder cancer you may be advised to have immunotherapy, chemotherapy, and surgery to remove the tumour from the bladder.  Bladder cancer treatment for stage 2 and 3 cancers may involve surgery to remove part of the bladder or the whole bladder (called radical cystectomy), which is followed by surgery to create a new opening for urine to leave the body.  Immunotherapy, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy may be used to decrease the size of the tumour before surgery, to target the remaining cancer cells after surgery, or treat cancer when surgery isn’t possible.

Stage 4 bladder cancer treatment may include options like radical cystectomy, chemotherapy without surgery, immunotherapy, chemotherapy and radiation therapy after surgery, or even clinical trial medications.

Bladder Cancer Treatment

Bladder Cancer Prevention:

To increase the likelihood of preventing bladder cancer, you can pursue lifestyle behaviours like avoiding smoking and exposure to cancer-causing chemicals, as well as drinking a good amount of water and maintaining a healthy diet.

Bladder Cancer Outlook:

Your outlook if you have bladder cancer will depend on many factors including the type and stage of the cancer, and your overall health.  The five-year survival rates as given by the American Cancer Society are 98% for stage zero bladder cancer, 88% for stage one cancer, 63% for stage two cancer, 46% for stage three cancer and 15% for stage four cancer.  However, there are treatment options available for any stage of bladder cancer.

Chinese Medicine for Bladder Cancer: How Can We Help?

Traditional Chinese Medicine is an excellent option for treating many diseases including bladder cancer, because it helps the body to regain its natural functions and rarely has any side effects.  In Chinese Medicine, the organs are connected to each other, and work together to control different functions.  The bladder works with the kidneys to control urination, bone health and brain functions, and a weakness or imbalance in one of these organs may cause symptoms in those areas.  Symptoms may include urination problems, bone weaknesses and brain fog, among others.  The aim of Chinese Medicine is to bring the affected organ back into balance, using techniques like acupuncture.  Then the body can return to its healthy functioning state.

Bladder Cancer Treatment

While Chinese Medicine can help to keep the bladder healthy, we can also help if you’ve already had other cancer treatments like surgery or chemotherapy.  These treatments often come along with side effects including pain, weakened immune system and nausea.  Chinese Medicine can treat these symptoms through acupuncture and Chinese herbs, to help boost your body and promote the recovery process.  Chinese Medicine can also help reduce inflammation and swelling and treat other symptoms which may have been related to the bladder problem (such as hearing problems and emotional health).

Click here for more information about cancer and Chinese Medicine. For more information about how acupuncture can help treat cancer, click here.


There are ways to reduce your risk of developing bladder cancer including drinking plenty of water and avoiding smoking.  Surgery, immunotherapy, chemotherapy and radiation therapy are all treatment options for bladder cancer, depending on the stage of the cancer and your health.  Chinese Medicine can help treat bladder cancer by improving the health of the bladder through acupuncture, and by treating the side effects (like pain and nausea) caused by the other treatments.

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