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Bladder Cancer

Screening and Diagnosis | Personalized Treatment | Research and Clinical Trials | Additional Patient Support

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 the diagnosis shows the cancer in early stages and it is treated right away, as often happens with bladder cancer, the chances for survival are very good.

The experienced specialists at NorthShore Kellogg Cancer Center combine the most advanced scientific knowledge and technology with a comprehensive and collaborative approach to care. Our patient-centered care focuses on personalizing bladder cancer treatment options to best suit your needs.

NorthShore urologists are among the most experienced in the Chicago area at performing minimally-invasive bladder cancer surgery. 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

Bladder Cancer Screening and Diagnosis

Bladder cancer is diagnosed through an internal exam and screenings that may include a urinalysis, CT scans or a cystoscopy (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 cystoscopy.

If a diagnosis is made, the physician will offer a bladder cancer prognosis based on the severity or stage of the cancer, including whether it has spread to other areas of the body.

Personalized Bladder Cancer Treatment

For bladder cancer treatment, Kellogg Cancer Center specialists are experts in creating options to maximize quality of life. These include a wide range of surgical options depending on stage, severity and prognosis of a patient’s cancer, from the most aggressive to the lower stages where cancer has not spread beyond the bladder. If the bladder must be removed, our skilled urologists are able to offer patients several options, including creation of a neobladder or new bladder. This treatment option involves creating a bladder-like reservoir out of a piece of the patient’s intestine. Housed inside the body, this reservoir attaches to the patient’s urethra and enables normal urination.

Chemotherapy is often used to destroy cancer cells before surgery for aggressive tumors. Sometimes, treatments other than surgery, such as a combination of chemotherapy and radiation, may be prescribed. Our patient-centered, multidisciplinary approach to care empowers our patients. You make decisions based on both your treatment options and your personal needs.

In recent years, immunotherapy has become a game changer in cancer treatment. Unlike chemotherapy, which attacks cancer cells, immunotherapy spurs the body’s own immune function to unleash an internal attack on the disease. NorthShore has been an early adopter of immunotherapy, offering progressive treatment options to our patients and supporting ongoing clinical trials and research to further advance this revolutionary field. Immunotherapy is a promising treatment for patients with some early stage as well as advanced bladder cancers.

Research and Clinical Trials

A vital research enterprise provides Kellogg Cancer Center patients with 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.

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 on bladder cancer symptoms and treatment or to schedule an appointment with one of our specialists, please call 847.570.2112.