Bladder and kidney cancers are among the most commonly diagnosed cancers in the United States, with almost 70,000 people affected every year. In south Louisiana, we have an even higher risk of these cancers, as several risk factors - including a high incidence of smoking and frequent exposure to chemicals - are prevalent in our environment and communities. Bladder and kidney cancer is more common in males, particularly as they get older, but can occur at any age.
A common early warning sign of this condition is the presence of blood in the urine. However, trace amounts aren't always visible and often require tests by your physician to diagnose. Other warning signs include an increase in urinary frequency and pain in the bladder.
Treatment options for bladder and kidney cancers depend on a number of things, including the type of cancer and its stage when diagnosed, as well as your overall health and treatment preferences. Common treatment options include:
- Surgical options to remove cancerous tissue
- Chemotherapy in the bladder to treat tumors that are confined to the lining of the bladder but have a high risk of recurrence or progression to a higher stage
- Chemotherapy for the whole body a primary treatment in cases where surgery isn't an option, or to increase the chance for a cure after a surgical treatment
- Radiation therapy to destroy cancer cells, often as a primary treatment in cases where surgery isn't an option
- Immunotherapy to trigger the body's immune system to fight cancer cells, either in the bladder or throughout the body
- Reconstruction to create a new way for urine to exit the body after bladder removal
A combination of treatment approaches may be recommended by your doctor and care team.
Research and Clinical Trials
The Tulane Cancer is on the forefront of groundbreaking research in the treatment of many cancers, including bladder and kidney cancers. Additionally, we offer access to a variety of clinical trials for every stage of these cancers that provide a host of alternative treatment options. Many of these trials provide new, innovative alternatives to common treatments, and they have been designed by the same physicians providing care at Tulane Cancer Center.
If you or a loved one are currently undergoing treatment and would like to explore these alternative clinical trial options - or if you are experiencing any of the above symptoms and would like to speak with a physician - please call Tulane Cancer Clinic at (504) 988-7444 and speak with our patient referral coordinator.