Bladder Cancer

Quality Cancer Treatment in Orange County, CA

At Orange County CyberKnife, we believe that everyone deserves access to the best when it comes to cancer care, which is why we strive to provide truly superlative cancer treatment to patients throughout the Orange County area. Our doctors work closely with patients to design treatment plans that work with your lifestyle, and we’re proud to offer a variety of cutting-edge treatments from our state-of-the-art cancer center. We treat a wide range of cancerous conditions at our clinic, including all forms of bladder cancer.

About Bladder Cancer

Bladder cancer refers to any malignant growths or tumors that form in the tissues of the bladder. Typically, bladder cancer starts in the internal lining of the bladder, although it’s possible for tumors to form in the bladder wall or other areas. There are a few different subtypes of bladder cancer, which are generally categorized based on the type of cell that the cancer forms in:

  • 90% of all bladder cancer cases are transitional cell carcinoma. We typically use surgery to treat this form of cancer.
  • The remaining 10% of cases are formed by squamous cell carcinoma, adenocarcinoma, and small cell carcinoma, as well as a few other rare types of tumor that account for a fraction of a percent of all cases.

CyberKnife Treatment for Bladder Cancer

While surgery is the most common treatment for bladder cancer, there are other options – and CyberKnife is growing in popularity. Major studies over the course of the past 20 years have found CyberKnife to be at least as effective as surgery, and some studies have even found CyberKnife to have a greater five-year success rate than other treatments. In addition to its efficacy, CyberKnife also comes with a number of advantages due to its unique treatment format:

  • Requires no incisions and is minimally invasive
  • Far more precise than other radiation therapy treatments
  • Eliminates cancerous cells while preserving healthy tissue
  • Less discomfort and side effects than other radiation treatments

Is CyberKnife Right for Me?

CyberKnife offers an attractive alternative to surgery for many patients, but as with any other cancer treatment, it’s not right for everyone. The only way to know which treatment is right for you is to visit our Orange County cancer center for a consultation with one of our expert cancer doctors. Our cancer specialists will carefully review your diagnosis and your current health condition, working with you to choose the treatment that best suits your unique case. Even if you’ve already received a treatment recommendation from another facility, getting a second opinion is an important part of the process, as our center can often treat cases that other facilities can’t.

Contact Your Orange County Radiation Therapy Center

No matter the diagnosis, fighting cancer can be a challenging, frightening process – but it’s never something you have to go through alone. Take the first step towards a healthy recovery and contact us today to schedule a treatment consultation. We look forward to hearing from you, and we’re excited to help you overcome cancer and reclaim a healthy, normal life.

What Is Bladder Cancer?

Cancers of the bladder are malignant tumors that affect the lining of the bladder or related and adjacent tissues. There is a limited range of cancers that typically manifest in the bladder, and even if they migrate to other organs, their point of origin helps doctors understand the disease’s behavior. If cancer originates in another part of the body and metastasizes to the bladder, it is not considered a bladder cancer but a continuation of the original cancer type.

Which Cancers Are Most Common in the Bladder?

Bladder cancer treatment is partially dependent on the tumor type, so it’s important for doctors to distinguish different cases while searching for the best options for treatment.

  • Transitional cell carcinoma accounts for 90% of all bladder cancer cases, and it is typically treated with bladder cancer surgery
  • Squamous cell carcinoma, adenocarcinoma, and small cell carcinoma together make up the vast majority of the other 10%
  • Rare tumor types do pop up from time to time but account for less than one percent of all cases

What About CyberKnife in Orange County?

Surgery has been the go-to for bladder cancer for a long time, but CyberKnife has been shown to be at least as effective in major studies over the past 20 years. Some studies even indicate it has better success over a five-year window than other treatments. That’s why our team recommends CyberKnife wherever it is a viable option for patients. Not every case will benefit from it, but the cases that do will notice a few key advantages over traditional radiation and surgery options.

  • Less invasive than many removal procedures
  • More precisely targeted than other radiation treatments
  • Preserves healthy tissue while destroying tumors
  • Minimal side effects and discomfort compared to other radiation options

Is CyberKnife the Right Option for Your Tumor?

The only way to discover whether CyberKnife is the right option for any individual patient is through a thorough review of their diagnosis and current health. When you come to our cancer center for treatment, the team will review your original medical records and diagnosis. If you are referred by another doctor, the team might even ask permission to contact that doctor and talk about your treatment so far. They are also capable of providing a second opinion or a diagnostic confirmation on their own. It depends on the needs of the patient.

Ready to Set Up a Consultation?

If you are ready to talk about how CyberKnife treatment can help you in your fight against bladder cancer and why it might be a better option than bladder cancer surgery, contact our team today and ask about setting an appointment. The faster you receive treatment, the better the chances for full remission. When you call, you can also ask any questions you have about your initial appointment, so don’t hesitate. Call today.

Bladder Cancer: Detection & Treatment Options

Screening for bladder cancer

Screening is the use of tests or exams to look for a disease in people who have no symptoms. At this time, no major professional organizations recommend routine screening of the general public for bladder cancer.

This is because no screening test has been shown to lower the risk of dying from bladder cancer in people who are at average risk.

Some doctors may recommend bladder cancer screening for people at very high risk, such as:

  • People who hadbladder cancer before
  • People who had certain birth defectsof the bladder
  • People exposed to certain chemicals at work

While no screening tests are recommended for people at average risk, bladder cancer can often be found early because it causes blood in the urine or other urinary symptoms. Many of these symptoms often have less serious causes, but it’s important to have them checked by a doctor right away so the cause can be found and treated, if needed. If the symptoms are from bladder cancer, finding it early offers the best chance for successful treatment.

Bladder cancer treatment

If you’ve been diagnosed with bladder cancer, your cancer care team will discuss your treatment options with you. It’s important that you think carefully about your choices. You will want to weigh the benefits of each treatment option against the possible risks and side effects

Which treatments are used for bladder cancer?

Depending on the stage of the cancer and other factors, treatment options for people with bladder cancer can include:

  • Surgery
  • Intravesical therapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation therapy
  • Immunotherapy

Sometimes, the best option might include more than one of type of treatment. Surgery, alone or with other treatments, is part of the treatment for most bladder cancers. Surgery can often remove early­stage bladder tumors. But a major concern in people with early­stage bladder cancer is that new cancers often form in other parts of the bladder over time. Removing the entire bladder (known as a radical cystectomy) is one way to avoid this, but it can have major side effects. If the entire bladder is not removed, other treatments may be given to try to reduce the risk of new cancers. Whether or not other treatments are given, close follow­up is needed to look for signs of new cancers in the bladder.

Bladder Cancer: Types & Stages

Several types of cancer can start in the bladder

Urothelial carcinoma (transitional cell carcinoma)

Urothelial carcinoma, also known as transitional cell carcinoma (TCC), is by far the most common type of bladder cancer. In fact, if you are told you have bladder cancer it is almost certain to be a urothelial carcinoma. These cancers start in the urothelial cells that line the inside of the bladder.

Urothelial cells also line other parts of the urinary tract, such as the part of the kidney that connects to the ureter (called the renal pelvis), the ureters, and the urethra. Patients with bladder cancer sometimes have other tumors in these places, so the entire urinary tract needs to be checked for tumors.

Invasive versus non­invasive bladder cancer

Bladder cancers are often described based on how far they have invaded into the wall of the bladder:

  • Non-­invasive cancers are still in the inner layer of cells (the transitional epithelium) but have not grown into the deeper layers.
  • Invasive cancers have grown into deeper layers of the bladder wall. These cancers are more likely to spread and are harder to treat.

A bladder cancer can also be described as superficial or non­muscle invasive. These terms include both non­invasive tumors as well as any invasive tumors that have not grown into the main muscle layer of the bladder.

Papillary versus flat cancer

Bladder cancers are also divided into 2 subtypes, papillary and flat, based on how they grow (see image above).

  • Papillary carcinomasgrow in slender, finger­like projections from the inner surface of the bladder toward the hollow center. Papillary tumors often grow toward the center of the bladder without growing into the deeper bladder layers. These tumors are called non­invasive papillary cancers. Very low­grade (slow growing), non­invasive papillary cancer is sometimes called papillary urothelial neoplasm of low­malignant potential (PUNLMP) and tends to have a very good outcome.
  • Flat carcinomasdo not grow toward the hollow part of the bladder at all. If a flat tumor is only in the inner layer of bladder cells, it is known as a non­invasive flat carcinoma or a flat carcinoma in situ (CIS).

If either a papillary or flat tumor grows into deeper layers of the bladder, it is called an invasive urothelial (or transitional cell) carcinoma.

Bladder Cancer: FAQs

Seek medical help: The most important thing you can do if you suspect you may have bladder cancer is to see a physician, preferably a urologist as soon as possible. Most bladder cancers can be treated effectively with early detection. If you are found to have bladder cancer – do not lose hope! Today, there are more than one­half million bladder cancer survivors in the U.S. alone

Answer :

Bladder cancer is the nation’s sixth most common form of cancer with more than 73,000 new cases and about 15,000
deaths each year. Even though it is very common, it is one from of cancer that most people know very little about. Bladder cancer, also referred to as urothelial carcinoma, begins when the cells in the lining of the bladder start to grow out of control. It may also occur anywhere in the urethra, renal pelvis and ureters.

Answer :

The most common symptom is blood in the urine. Other symptoms include irritation when urinating, urgency, and frequency of urination. These are also common symptoms of a urinary tract infection. If you have any of these symptoms, go see your doctor.

Answer :

The exact causes remain unknown, but smoking has been found to be the greatest risk factor for bladder cancer, with smokers getting bladder cancer twice as often as people who don’t smoke. Other risk factors include exposure to carcinogens in the environment. Workers in the rubber, chemical and leather industries are at risk, as are hairdressers, machinists, metal workers, painters, textile workers and firefighters.

Answer :

There are many tests your doctor can use including ultrasounds, CT scans, and MRI scansto detect irregularities in the bladder wall, which would suggest a possible cancer. The urologist will also perform a cystoscopy by looking inside the bladder with a long thin camera to visually examine your bladder and remove samples of any suspicious areas for biopsy. Urine cytology can be performed to detect cancer cells in urine. Other tests use urine­based markers to detect cells or substances in a urine sample that are relatively specific to bladder cancer.

Bladder Preservation Therapy –Although bladder removal, with or without chemotherapy, is the treatment usually offered for muscle­invasive bladder cancer, for some patients it might be possible to use high­dose external beam radiation therapy in combination with chemotherapy. This allows the patient to keep their bladder, and still leaves the possibility of removing the bladder later if tumors recur

Answer :

There are many bladder cancer support groups across the United States. Visit www.bcan.org to find one near you. There is also an online support community available to survivors, caregivers and loved ones 24 hours a day. It is free to join and more than 5,000 members have posted thousands of different discussions supporting each other in battling bladder cancer. There are also general cancer support groups through hospitals and the Cancer Support Community.

Answer :

Seek medical help: The most important thing you can do if you suspect you may have bladder cancer is to see a physician, preferably a urologist as soon as possible. Most bladder cancers can be treated effectively with early detection. If you are found to have bladder cancer – do not lose hope! Today, there are more than one­half million bladder cancer survivors in the U.S. alone