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Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) Therapy for Bladder Cancer

If you’re at a high risk of non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer returning after transurethral resection, we may recommend that you receive a type of immunotherapy called bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) therapy. It is given once a week for six weeks. This therapy is designed to trigger an inflammatory response in the bladder. The reaction prevents the cancer from returning.

To give BCG therapy, our doctors deliver inactivated tuberculosis bacteria directly into the bladder through a catheter (a small tube) placed in the urethra (the duct through which urine is transported out of the body).

In some cases, early-stage bladder cancers do not respond to BCG therapy. If the bladder cancer returns, we may recommend other drugs. These include certain chemotherapy drugs. They are often given through the urethra. We’ll likely want to examine you every few months after your therapy ends to make sure that your bladder remains healthy and tumor free.