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Why are doctors so quick to recommend extreme solutions?

I was diagnosed in Aug 2021 with HG non-invasive BC. My oncologist informed me this week that I should repeat another 6 week round of BCG since the first treatment left three areas of visible cancer cells - one of which progressed from the urothelial layer into the lamina propria, and if the 2nd round is not successful he wants to perform a RC. At this point I have had NO symptoms and NO discomfort. But for the two TURBT procedures, I would not even suspect that I HAVE cancer. The idea of getting RC at this point seems preposterous. Why would I risk a life altering procedure and potential lifetime effects on bowel function for something that isn't even apparent yet?

  1. Hi. Glad you found us. I am not medically trained but would say that usually an RC is considered if your medical team believe that it needed to prevent the cancer spreading or becoming untreatable. All options should be fully discussed with you. I would ask your medical team the reason for suggesting and RC and what other options are available to you. Let us know how you get on. Laura, Moderator, BladderCancer.net

    1. @gnick540 - I would discuss with your doctors, the reason RC was suggested and other options. High grade BC can be aggressive and as it is sometimes referred to - "a very slippery slope". I had RC/IC 7 years ago and lead a very full and active life at age 70. I made the choice because I did not like the very real possibility of my cancer to spread and my options to be more limited. That was my choice and I was happy with it. I would discuss all other options available to you and see how you feel then. It should always be your choice regardless. I hope that you find other options. My best to you. Linda ( moderator, Bladdercancer.net team member)

      1. Thank you for the first hand reports - SO much better than hearing from a Dr who hasn't been forced to live with such a decision. I am in touch with a friend of my brother who was treated for stage 4 lung cancer at a clinic in Phoenix five years ago. They utilize diluted chemo (only 10% of normal strength) along with lifestyle changes (mainly diet) and get amazing success. That appears to be another alternative I should consider.

        1. glad the responses helped. As Linda also says, having enough information to make informed decisions is key. Let us know how you get on. As a community, we are here for you. Laura, Moderator, BladderCancer.net

        2. Thank you for sharing your story. My Mom's story is something similar to yours, which I will be sharing deeper soon. I would like to echo others and ask your physician exactly why the RC is the recommendation. I've heard anecdotal information about blue light cystoscopy as well, something I wish I could have used for Mom. Please keep us updated! Sending healing vibes your way! Charles (Moderator)

      2. Although my question hasn't generated any interest from the public, I do appreciate the comments from mods and admins. 😀 Today I had a very informative telecon with my doctor about his recommendation for RC. Guess what! He admitted that he can't put full faith into the results of the biopsies, so his first inclination is to "play it safe" and take the bladder out. Because I refused that option, his ONLY fallback position was another round of BCG -- which he further admits has only a small chance of success. So I have done some research and found a clinic that uses an alternative approach (to great success I might add). I gave my Dr notice today that I won't be going in for the BCG. I am completely satisfied with my decision and promise to check in during the coming weeks/months to update you all.

        1. Bravo! Thank you so much for your courage and bravery to share what is going on for you. This is so exciting and I applaud your proactive approach to your healthcare. Please do keep us abreast to these developments. I am definitely cheering you on! Charles (Moderator)

        2. thanks for sharing the update with us. Having choices is key. I am glad you have found a treatment plan that you are comfortable with. Wishing you well and look forward to hearing how you are getting on. Laura, Moderator, BladderCancer.net

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