Screening and Diagnosis | Personalized Treatment | Research and Clinical Trials | Additional Patient Support
The experienced, collaborative team of specialists at NorthShore Kellogg Cancer Center combines the most advanced scientific knowledge and technology with a comprehensive and compassionate approach to care, creating a program of personalized medicine and patient-centered care for each individual diagnosed with bladder cancer.
Drawing from the diverse experience of physicians, surgeons, nurses, researchers and a host of other highly trained healthcare professionals, the Kellogg Cancer Center team works collaboratively and is dedicated to putting patients—and families—at the center of a healthcare experience that delivers compassionate, quality care.
The Kellogg Cancer Center offers centralized treatment and access for the breadth of needs a patient diagnosed with bladder cancer may require. NorthShore urologists are among the most experienced in the Chicago area at performing minimally-invasive surgery for bladder cancer. Research has shown that significant experience is more likely to result in better outcomes for patients. Physicians at the Kellogg Cancer Center collaborate with colleagues at the John and Carol Walter Center for Urological Health when appropriate.
As part of the Mayo Clinic Care Network, NorthShore provides our patients even greater access to a broad network of experts. NorthShore and Mayo specialists share expertise and collaborate to manage complex disease diagnoses and treatments. Patients benefit from enhanced care at NorthShore, without the need to travel outside the region.
Bladder Cancer Screening and Diagnosis
NorthShore’s Kellogg Cancer Center’s emphasis on early detection leads to diagnosing a greater proportion of patients with bladder cancer—the second most common form of urological cancer—at earlier stages. When found and treated early, as often happens with bladder cancer, the chances for survival are very good.
Bladder cancer is diagnosed through an internal exam and screenings that may include a urinalysis, CT scans, or a cytoscopy (a procedure where a thin instrument with a light and lens to view the bladder is inserted through the urethra). Tissue samples may also be taken during a cytoscopy.
If a diagnosis of bladder cancer is made, a physician will determine the severity or stage of the cancer, including whether it has spread to other areas of the body.
Personalized Bladder Cancer Treatment
Every week, our multidisciplinary team meets in a multidisciplinary conference to discuss each patient’s case in detail and to design a personalized treatment plan. For bladder cancer, your team may include your medical oncologist, urological surgical oncologist (a board-certified urologist specially trained to surgically treat urological cancers), radiation oncologist, geneticist, pathologist, nutritionist, pharmacist, interventional radiologist, social worker and researchers, all focused on you. This "meeting of the minds" provides critical input, resulting in an individualized care plan outlining the best course of action for each patient.
For the treatment of bladder cancer, Kellogg Cancer Center specialists are experts in creating options to maximize the patient's quality of life. These include a wide range of surgical options depending on stage, or severity, of a patient’s cancer, from the most aggressive to the lower stages where cancer has not spread beyond the bladder. For individual cases where the bladder must be removed, our urologists are able to offer patients several options, including creation of a neobladder. For this option, Kellogg’s skilled urologists create a bladder-like reservoir out of a piece of the patient’s intestine. The reservoir is housed inside the body and attached to the patient’s urethra, enabling the patient to urinate normally.
Following surgery, chemotherapy or radiation therapy may be recommended to destroy any remaining cancer cells. Sometimes a combination of chemotherapy and radiation may be prescribed. The patient-centered, multidisciplinary approach to care empowers each patient to make decisions based on their personal needs after being presented with their options by our physicians.
Patients are at the center of this multidisciplinary team, and Kellogg staff arrange for them to be seen by their multidisciplinary specialists at one appointment, not only for their convenience but to provide a consensus on their course of treatment. Our use of one of the most advanced Electronic Medical Record (EMR) systems in the country enhances our open communication and promotes collaboration in our patient care.
Research and Clinical Trials
For patients diagnosed with urologic cancers, a vital research enterprise allows Kellogg Cancer Center patients access to the latest drugs and treatment options, as well as a wide array of clinical trials, both at NorthShore and through the University of Chicago, where more than 800 of our attending physicians hold academic appointments. As an example, our physician-scientists are currently enrolled in a study of genetics testing for persons with bladder cancer. Kellogg Cancer Center’s experts in bladder cancer are active participants and leaders in regional and national research, academic and advocacy organizations.
NorthShore’s nationally recognized Electronic Medical Record (EMR) system offers a data warehouse that enables physicians and researchers to integrate molecular and genomics data with clinical data to determine a patient’s best course of treatment. This information—specific to each patient—helps create an individually tailored treatment plan based on the patient’s genetic makeup and type of cancer. This analysis, through our Center for Biomedical Research Informatics, is yielding new insights into complex diseases and identifying opportunities to improve patient outcomes, as well as addressing the risk factors in individual and family medical histories.
NorthShore is the first in the nation to provide our patients and their family members with Health Heritage, a secure tool that helps individuals create a complete family health history and personalized risk reports.
Additional Patient Support
Kellogg Cancer Center’s unique services and resources assist patients and family members with a variety of challenges they may face from diagnosis, treatment and beyond. A wide array of support services are available to patients that include our integrative medicine services, financial advocacy and survivorship, to name a few.
For More Information
For more information or to schedule an appointment with one of our specialists, please call 847.570.2112.