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Bladder cancer

Best hospital for bladder cancer treatment in India with cutting-edge technologies to get the highest survival rates.

Bladder cancer is the 10th most commonly diagnosed cancer in the world. Estimates about 573,278 people will be diagnosed with bladder cancer in 2020 around the world. 

However, with the advancement of technology, experience, and new protocols, the survival rates of cervical cancer patients are also increasing.

Though the detection of bladder cancer itself is a matter of concern with the right treatment with the right doctor at the right time, you can beat bladder cancer. 

Let’s understand from the experience of Andy, a 47-year-old banker from Lusaka, Zambia. Andy has two daughters, a son, and a wonderful wife.

Three years back, Andy noticed blood was coming out while he was urinating. The flow of the blood is quite heavy. Andy hasn’t had any pain or other health concerns before. Andy got scared and made an appointment with his known doctor, who prescribed medicine for a urinary tract infection. The pills cleared up the blood, but two weeks later it returned. 

This time Andy booked an appointment with the urologist, the doctor physically examined Andy and suggested he do Urine cytology, along with cystoscopy. 

Andy underwent a cystoscopy. This is the procedure in which a flexible instrument called a cystoscope was passed through the urethra into the bladder to allow the doctor to look for tumors.

Andy bladder cancer treatment in india survivor
Bladder cancer treatment in India, Bladder cancer treatment cost in India, Bladder cancer symptoms

The cystoscope revealed a 1.5-centimeter tumor that had grown into the muscle layer of Andy’s bladder. The urologist told Andy about the bladder cancer. Andy and his family were in total shock. The doctor suggested Andy to consult an oncologist for further treatment. 

Andy’s wife Marrie who was also a teacher by profession supported Andy and both came back home. Marrie didn’t want to take any risk with the treatment and was looking for the best option for bladder cancer.

Marrie while researching bladder cancer got to know about a tumor board approach for the cancer treatment. Marrie dropped an inquiry at the MedicoExperts website on behalf of her husband.

The MedicoExperts team contacted Marrie and Marrie passed all information and test reports. MedicoExperts explained to Marrie about the revolutionary Tumor Board approach for the treatment and arranged an online video consultation with the oncologist who was also the head of the tumor board.

During the consultation, the doctor explained the treatment plan and process in detail and cleared all the doubts of Marrie and Andy. 

Andy and Marrie decided to come to India for the treatment.

After 14 days, Andy landed in India for the treatment with Marrie. Andy got admitted to the hospital on the same day. An evaluation test was performed to check the current condition of cancer. 

After seeing the test reports and as per the treatment plan the surgical oncologist decided to do a nerve-sparing radical cystectomy. In which the doctor removed Andy’s bladder and replaced it with a “neobladder” constructed with a portion of his small intestine.

This has given Andy the ability to urinate in the usual way, without using a catheter or urine bag worn outside the body. The surgery is followed by 2 chemotherapy.

After 2 months another evaluation test was performed to validate the outcome of the treatment. Reports came and the result was in favor of Andy. 

Andy and Marrie were very happy to hear that and thanked the doctor and MedicoExperts.  

This could be your story as well. You also need the right treatment at right time with the right guidance.

Before we start discussing the different treatment options, let’s first understand what bladder cancer is.

Best hospital for bladder cancer treatment in India, bladder cancer treatment in India,

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bladder cancer

What is bladder cancer?

Before knowing about bladder cancer, let’s first understand the bladder. The bladder is a flexible hollow organ in the lower pelvic region. And the basic function of the bladder is to store urine waste that’s made by the kidneys.

Kidneys create urine that passes through ureter tubes and reaches the bladder. When you urinate, the bladder contacts and forces urine out of the bladder to urethra tubes.

Now coming back to the bladder cancer, cells that form the bladder starts to grow uncontrollably and forms tumors. With time the tumor spread to the other body parts. 

There are various types of bladder cancer.

bladder cancer
Types of bladder cancer

types

What are the different types of bladder cancer?

There are four types of bladder cancer.

  • Urothelial Carcinoma: By far it is the most common bladder cancer. In this type of cancer, cancerous cells form tumors in the urothelial cell layer. The urothelial cell line is the inner line of the bladder. Urothelial cells are found in bladder as well as in the kidneys and ureter inner line. This is the reason the whole urinary tract should be screened to find this type of cancer.
  • Squamous cells carcinoma: Squamous cells are flat cells found on the skin. Cancer of these cells spreads very quickly, but it forms 1-2% of total bladder cancer.
  • Sarcoma: Sarcoma is a rare bladder cancer. It starts in the muscular cells of the bladder.
  • Small cell carcinoma: This type of bladder cancer forms in nerve-like cells of the bladder. It is a rare cancer. This type of bladder cancer grows quickly and needs to be treated with chemotherapy.

Now let’s understand the various stages of bladder cancer.

Stages

What are the different stages of bladder cancer?

There are 5 stages of bladder cancer from stage 0 to stage 4. First of all, the TNM system is used for staging cancer. TNM means Tumour, Node, and Metastasized.

T: Doctors see how far the main tumor has grown through the bladder.

N: Whether cancer has spread to the lymph node near the bladder.

M: Whether cancer has spread to distant body parts.

In this stage cancer has grown in the center of the bladder. Cancer has not even reached the tissues and muscles walls of the bladder.

In stage 1 cancer has grown to the inner lining of the bladder. It has not reached muscle walls or to lymph nodes nearby of the bladder.

The cancer has grown through the inner tissue of the bladder and possibly to the muscle layer of the bladder.

In this stage cancer has spread to the fatty tissues of the bladder. It may be spread outside to the prostate, urethra, or vagina. But not to nearby lymph or distant organs.

In stage 4 cancer has spread to the pelvic region and nearby organs. Cancer may be spread to nearby lymph nodes and distant organs like bones, liver, lungs.

The stage of bladder cancer helps to determine the appropriate treatment. 

Now let’s see what are the symptoms of bladder cancer.

bladder cancer sign and symptoms

Symptoms

What are the signs and symptoms of bladder cancer?

Sometimes people with bladder cancer may have different symptoms. In a few cases, there may not be any symptoms.

Following are the most common symptoms of bladder cancer.

  • Burning sensation or pain during urination 
  • More frequent urination without any reason
  • Feeling to urinate many times during the night
  • Blood or blood clots present in Urine
  • Urge to urinate but unable to pass urinate
  • Lower back pain

Along with risk factors, if you are feeling any of these symptoms then you should visit the doctor.

This is why you should be knowing various risk factors associated with bladder cancer and what causes bladder cancer.

Causes

What causes bladder cancer?

There are various risk factors associated with bladder cancer.

  • Age: Risk of bladder cancer increases with age. 90% of bladder cancer is found in senior citizens.
  • Gender: Bladder cancer is more common in men than women.
  • Smoking: Smoking increases the chance of bladder cancer by 3 times. Smoking causes almost half of the bladder cancer.
  • Workplace: People working with chemicals like aromatic amines, dyes are at higher risk of bladder cancer.
  • Arsenic in drinking water: Arsenic present in drinking water causes higher risk of bladder cancer. It depends on the arsenic present in the drinking water.
  • Drinking less fluid: Drinking less water causes toxic chemicals to be deposited in the bladder and it increases risk of bladder cancer.

If you are having any of these risk factors and facing any symptoms, you should immediately book an appointment with a urologist. The Doctor will diagnose further to verify whether it’s bladder cancer.

Now we will see what various diagnostic tests are used to determine bladder cancer.

What causes bladder cancer

Diagnosis

How is bladder cancer diagnosis carried out?

There are steps to diagnose bladder cancer.

Urine sample is collected to check the presence of cancer cells in urine.

Urine cytology is a test that examines your urine for abnormal cells. It’s used in combination with other tests and procedures to diagnose cancers of the urinary tract, most commonly bladder cancer. If you have blood in your urine, your doctor may recommend a urine cytology test (hematuria).

First of all, cystoscopy is carried out. In cystoscopy, the doctor inserts a narrow tube with a camera through the urethra. It allows the doctor to view the inside of the urethra and bladder.

During cystoscopy, doctors use tools to remove some samples of inner lines of the bladder for testing. It is also called TURBT (Transurethral resection of bladder tumor).

A TURBT is used to diagnose bladder cancer and determine the type of tumor, the depth to which it has grown into the bladder layers, and any additional microscopic cancerous changes, known as carcinoma in situ. It is also used for treatment.

Various imaging tests like CT urogram, Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), Positron emission tomography (PET), bone scan, and X ray is carried out to determine the extent of bladder cancer. These tests help doctors to determine cancer stage from 0 to 4. It helps to decide the treatment.

After diagnosis, treatment is carried out.

Treatment options

Bladder cancer treatment in India

Treatment of bladder cancer depends on the stage of bladder cancer and its spread in the body.

Cancer treatment may include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, immunotherapy, targeted drug therapy. We will see all therapies in detail.

For the early stage of cancer surgery is carried out to remove cancerous cells from the bladder. The first surgery is TURBT, Transurethral resection of bladder tumor.

During diagnosis through cystoscopy, if a surgeon finds any tumor in the camera, they remove it immediately with the help of a tool in the tube inserted in the body.

Surgeons pass electric wire in the tube and cut away or burn away cancer. In cystectomy surgery, some part or full bladder is removed

In advanced stages of cancer like in stages 3 and 4 surgeons give chemotherapy either through vein or directly into the bladder. Intravenous chemotherapy is used before surgery of the bladder to increase the chances of removal of cancerous cells.

In advanced stages of cancer like in stages 3 and 4 surgeons use radiation therapy. Powerful energy beams like x-ray or protons are used to target specific points of the body to kill cancerous cells. Radiation therapy is often combined with chemotherapy to treat bladder cancer in special situations where surgery is not viable.

Immunotherapy is a treatment with the help of drugs to help your immune system to fight cancerous cells. It can be directly given into the bladder or in the vein. 

Targeted drugs directly focus on the specific weakness of cancerous cells and target it to make cancer cells weak and kill it. Targeted drug therapy is used for advanced stages of cancer like stage 3 and 4  where other options have not helped.

Visit to read more about Targeted drug therapy.

The typical approach of doctors to treat bladder cancer

In this stage, the cancer is only found in the bladder’s inner lining layer.

The bladder wall has not been invaded (spread deeper into). Transurethral resection (TURBT) – is the surgical removal of a tumor from the bladder, is done for treating bladder cancer at this stage with fulguration (A procedure in which abnormal tissue, such as a tumor or other lesion, is destroyed using heat generated by an electric current.) followed by intravesical therapy in which instead of giving you a pill or injecting it into your blood, your doctor injects a liquid drug directly into your bladder.

Stage I bladder cancers have grown into the bladder wall’s connective tissue layer (T1) but not the muscle layer. The most common treatment for these cancers is transurethral resection (TURBT) with fulguration. 

Intravesical BCG (preferred) or intravesical chemo are usually given if the doctor believes that all of cancer has been removed.

Intravesical BCG or cystectomy are options if all of the cancer was not removed (removal of part or all of the bladder).

T2a and T2b cancers have entered the muscle layer of the bladder wall, but have not progressed any further. The first treatment for these cancers is usually transurethral resection (TURBT), but this is done to help determine the extent (stage) of cancer rather than to try to cure it.

When cancer has spread to the muscle, a radical cystectomy (bladder removal) is required.

Lymph nodes in the nearby area of the bladder are frequently removed as well. A partial cystectomy may be performed instead if cancer is found in only one part of the bladder.

Doctors prefer to give chemotherapy prior to surgery. Radiation may be required after surgery if cancer is found in nearby lymph nodes. Chemotherapy is another option, but only if it was not given prior to surgery.

Cancers have spread outside the bladder (T3) and may have spread to nearby tissues or organs (T4), as well as lymph nodes (N1, N2, or N3). They haven’t spread to any other parts of the body yet.  

Transurethral resection (TURBT) is typically performed first to determine the extent of cancer’s spread into the bladder wall. The standard treatment is chemotherapy with or without radiation therapy, followed by radical cystectomy (removal of the bladder and nearby lymph nodes).

In some cases, immunotherapy is also given after the surgery and chemo.

Cancers have spread to the pelvic or abdominal wall (T4b), nearby lymph nodes (any N), and/or distant parts of the body (M1).

If cancer has not spread to distant parts of the body (M0)

Firstly chemotherapy (with or without radiation) is given then the tumor is examined again. If it appears to be gone, cystectomy or chemo with or without radiation is an option. If signs of bladder cancer persist, chemo with or without radiation, switching to a different type of chemo, trying an immunotherapy drug, or cystectomy are performed.

If cancer has spread to distant parts of the body (M0)

Chemotherapy (with or without radiation) is usually performed first then the cancer is rechecked. If it appears to be gone, a boost of radiation to the bladder or a cystectomy may be performed. If there are still signs of cancer, treatment options may include chemo, radiation, or immunotherapy.

Which country is best for bladder cancer treatment?

Although UK, US, Singapore, and India provide effective bladder cancer treatment. However, the costs vary from country to country.

However, the cost of surgery and treatment for bladder cancer in India is nearly half.

Many multinational citizens have traveled to India for treatment due to the availability of world-class treatment and efficient post-operative care.

Doctors in India’s healthcare system are well-trained. India has specialized and well-trained operative and post-operative care teams in addition to doctors. These groups are capable of resolving complex cases at an affordable cost.

So, if you’re looking for the best combination of outcomes and cost, India might be the better option.

How to choose the best hospital for bladder cancer treatment in India?

Choose a hospital with cutting-edge technology and a highly trained team of oncologists, including medical, surgical, and radio oncologists, as well as well-trained paramedical staff.

The oncology team’s and hospital’s success and survival rates should also be considered.

You may like to choose from MedicoExperts Panel, which has been created using the above criteria.

How to choose the best oncologist for your bladder cancer treatment in India?

You should not rely on just one doctor for a successful outcome and higher success and survival rates, but rather on a team of doctors. This multidisciplinary approach is also known as the Tumour Board.

The tumor board approach is a new way to improve survival rates in stomach cancer patients. Highly skilled medical, surgical, and radiation oncologists collaborate closely on the case to achieve the best possible treatment outcome.

With this tumor board approach to treating patients, MedicoExperts helps patients all over the world get the best possible treatment and survival rates.

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survival rate

What is the survival rate of bladder cancer in India?

  • 5-year survival rate stage 0 bladder cancer is 96%
  • 5-year survival rate stage 1 bladder cancer is 96%
  • 5-year survival rate stage 2 bladder cancer is 69%
  • 5-year survival rate stage 3 bladder cancer is 37%
  • 5-year survival rate stage 4 bladder cancer is 6%

The overall combined 5-year survival rate is 77% in bladder cancer.

prostate cancer survival rate
Treatment cost of bladder cancer in india

Treatment cost

Bladder cancer treatment cost in India

Bladder treatment costs may vary as per the stage of cancer and the location of the hospital.

  • Chemotherapy for bladder cancer in India may cost around 260 – 470 USD (20000 to 35000 INR).
  • Bladder cancer surgery in India starts from 2000 – 3300 USD (1.5 lakh – 2.5 lakh).
  • Radiation therapy cost starts from 2664 – 3400 USD (2 lakh – 2.5 lakh rupees approximately).
  • TURBT surgery costs approximately 2600 – 4000 USD (2 lakh – 3 lakh rupees).

We have discussed by and large everything you need to know about bladder cancer treatments. 

Feel free to connect with us if you need more information about it.

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Frequently Asked Questions and patient concerns:

1. Is bladder cancer curable?

Bladder cancer is treatable. It can be completely cured in the early stages of cancer. In advanced stages of cancer, it may not be completely cured but treatments are available to reduce relief from symptoms.

2. What is the survival rate of Bladder cancer?

In the early stages like stage 0 and stage 1, 5 years survival rate is 96%. In localized bladder cancer, the 5-year survival rate is 69%. In regional bladder cancer, 5 years survival rate is 37%. In distant-stage 5 survival rate is 6%.

The overall combined 5-year survival rate is 77% in bladder cancer.

3. How fast does bladder cancer spread ?

High-grade bladder cancer spreads fast in the early stages. Doctors will start treatment immediately even for stage 0 cancer if it is high-grade bladder cancer. In high-grade bladder cancer, cancer cells look different from normal bladder cancer.

In Low-grade blood cancer tends to spread slowly.

4. Where does bladder cancer usually spread first?

Bladder cancer usually starts in the lymph nodes around the bladder in the pelvis (called perivascular lymph nodes). It can then spread to lymph nodes close to major blood vessels that run through the leg and pelvis.

5. How long will you be in the hospital after your bladder has been removed?

Following the surgery, you will most likely spend three to one week in the hospital. During this time, your doctor and surgeon can assess the new waste removal system.

6. How do you go about urinating after your bladder has been removed?

Your urine is diverted directly from your kidneys to the outside of your body through a tube made from a piece of your small intestine. The open end of your small intestine drains urine into a small, flat pouch through a surgical hole in your belly. It will need to be emptied several times per day.

7. How long does it take to recover from bladder cancer surgery?

It will take 6 weeks from the date of surgery for you to fully recover. The first two weeks and the last four weeks can be divided into two parts. It is critical to be “a person of leisure” for the first two weeks following your surgery. Lifting and straining should be avoided at all costs, as this will lead to constipation.

You may resume regular activity during the second four weeks of your recovery, but only gradually. You might feel well enough to return to work, but it might be easier to start on a half-day basis. It’s common to feel tired in the afternoon, and if this happens to you, it’s best to take a nap! You may also start driving and lifting objects such as a briefcase.

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