Bladder Cancer Treatment
At Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, we may recommend surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or a combination of these for treating bladder cancer. Throughout, we’ll make preserving or re-creating the bladder key considerations in your treatment plan.
Most bladder cancers are diagnosed at an early stage. Your chance of surviving this disease is very good when it’s caught early and you receive prompt treatment. Surgery is a good option for many patients with early-stage disease.
Each year, our multidisciplinary team of experts diagnoses and treats nearly 400 patients with bladder cancer.
If your cancer is more advanced and has spread beyond the bladder we may recommend chemotherapy or new drugs or combinations of drugs we’re exploring through clinical trials. Some trials test new drugs while others aim to make improvements to the standard treatments.
You will meet with both a medical oncologist (a doctor who specializes in cancer) and a surgeon before we prescribe any treatment. This ensures that experts in both specialties thoroughly evaluate your situation to determine the best approach.
Bladder cancer that has spread or returned
Bladder cancer is a disease that often comes back after initial treatment. If your bladder cancer has spread or returned after treatment, we can analyze a biopsy (tissue sample) to look for specific genetic mutations in the tumor. Knowing which mutations are present in — or absent from — a tumor can help determine which clinical trial would most likely benefit you.
Some new drugs have proven to be very effective at targeting specific genetic alterations in tumors. Numerous other clinical trials are under way that test drugs tailored toward people with specific genetic mutations.