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Stage 3 Bladder Cancer

I am a 65 year old male and I have been diagnosed with Stage 3 bladder cancer. They told me it may have spread to lymph nodes but they wouldn’t be able to tell until they removed some during bladder removal surgery. I am currently considering my options for treatment. I am trying to decide between 1) Bladder removal and chemo, 2) Leaving bladder in and doing chemo and radiation, 3) Leaving bladder in and doing immunotherapy. I have concerns with the bladder removal surgery so any feedback on the surgery itself would be greatly appreciated. My main concerns are potential risks and complications with the surgery. If anybody has any feedback on not removing the bladder and just doing chemo and radiation that would be greatly appreciated as well. I am also curious to see if anybody did not remove the bladder and just did immunotherapy. I am currently looking to get a second opinion from MD Anderson but I really wanted to hear from people that have experienced this first hand. Thank you for your support.

  1. firstly sorry you are going through this but I am glad you found this wonderful
    community. Also I must add, I am not medically trained. I had my bladder removed 4 years ago due to stage 4 aggressive cancer. I won’t lie, the recovery is tough but if you go with bladder removal , there is life after. I work full time, moderate here and pre covid travelled extensively abroad for work and long haul for holidays. Life changes but you can still live a good life. Happy to answer any specific questions you may have. Laura, Moderator, BladderCancer.net

    1. @celtlady - I wish for a better 2022 for your son. He certainly has been through a lot and sepsis is scary for sure. I hope that someone is able to find out what is causing this soon so he can get on the mend. Sending a hug to you both. Hang in there and please keep us updated on his progress. Thinking of you both. Linda ( moderator, Bladdercancer.net team member)

    2. @djovella - I have not seen an update from you recently and wanted to check in and see how you are doing. You were looking into a 2nd opinion from MD Anderson and figuring out options. I hope you are doing well. My best to you. Linda ( moderator, Bladdercancer.net team member)

  2. BCG is effective only on surface tumors where the liquid can remain in contact with the tumor. I can't imagine how the Dr could offer that as an option for T3. I have done BCG (one round of six weeks) for T0 (non-invasive, HG) in Sep 2021. Six weeks later a blue light exam showed three areas of tumors remained. A second TURBT revealed that one of them had invaded the 2nd layer bladder wall (lamina propria). The Dr immediately recommended bladder removal, but I opted to seek alternate treatment that didn't involve removing anything. I wish you luck with your surgery going forward, but I would seek a 2nd opinion.

    1. Hey , I hate that chemo didn't work but glad that you've ultimately come with a solid decision forward. Do you know date wise when you're moving forward with removal? - Jada (BladderCancer.net team member)

    2. No, doing a third TURBT this Wed to take biopsies. If non-invasive the Dr might agree to holding off and try some more treatment, but he's not optimistic. Removal would likely be a few weeks later.

  3. Thank you! Do you know of anyone who has taken this route and is father along or have completed it? I’m interested in finding out from those who have completed it what are the adverse affects on the bladder if the treatment is successful, as well as the affects if it is not successful.

    1. unfortunately I am not medically trained to give specific advice but I would suggest it’s best to discuss all options with your medical team. Laura, Moderator, BladderCancer.net

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