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Bladder Cancer

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If you or someone important to you has been diagnosed with bladder cancer, turn to the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson's Multidisciplinary Genitourinary Oncology Center in Philadelphia. The Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center is a National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated cancer center and home to internationally renowned cancer physicians and research scientists.

Founded in 1996, the Multidisciplinary Genitourinary Oncology Center gives you access to not only Jefferson urologists, but also radiation oncologists, medical oncologists and integrative medicine specialists. The Center's progressive approach enables you to benefit from these multiple areas of expertise in a single visit.

For early-stage cancer of the bladder that is confined to the bladder wall, Jefferson physicians commonly perform transurethral resection of the bladder tumor (TURBT), which can also be employed as a diagnostic tool. Our Center has extensive experience in the latest diagnostic tool for bladder cancer, known as blue light cystoscopy, using Cysview™. This procedure is usually followed by intravesical therapy with mitomycin C or bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG). The latter is the therapy of choice for the more aggressive cancer of the bladder lining.

Depending upon your diagnosis and the size and location of the tumor, you may be a candidate for minimally invasive surgery, which utilizes laparoscopic procedures. Our cancer physicians and urologic surgeons have been pioneers in minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery since 1990. Minimally invasive surgery can decrease the length of stay in the hospital, reduce the risk of infection, decrease pain and facilitate faster recovery.

Bodine Center for Radiation Therapy/Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson

If your treatment involves radiation therapy, you will likely be treated at the Bodine Center for Radiation Therapy/Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson. It is the region's busiest radiation oncology center and focuses the collaborative efforts of highly accomplished radiation oncologists, surgeons, medical oncologists and other specialists in leading-edge cancer treatments including radiation implants, high-dose remote afterloading, intraoperative radiation therapy and hyperthermia.

In the case of muscle-invasive bladder cancer, chemotherapy can be given before removal of the bladder to improve outcomes. Our surgeons are skilled in the creation of "neobladders" (new bladders) constricted from intestinal segments that avoid the use of a collection bag on the skin. Cystectomy may be performed laparoscopically or with robotic instrumentation; radiation therapy may also be prescribed before or after a cystectomy, if needed. Elderly patients or patients who are not candidates for surgery may receive only chemotherapy and/or radiation.

Integrative medicine – which includes nutritional, stress reduction and complementary medicine – is provided through the Jefferson-Myrna Brind Center of Integrative Medicine.