In some cases, chemotherapy may be an option before surgery to improve chances of cure (neoadjuvant chemotherapy). It is typically given intravenously in three-week cycles, usually for four cycles. It can also be given to patients in conjunction with radiation treatment to improve response to radiation treatment. In patients whose bladder cancer has spread beyond the pelvis, chemotherapy may be used to control the disease and improve symptoms and to prolong life.
Chemotherapy is usually given in cycles in order to allow healthy cells the time to recover. Treatment may be given daily, weekly, every few weeks, or monthly, depending on your situation.
Chemotherapy is typically given in an outpatient setting. This includes a hospital, clinic, or healthcare provider's office.
Patients are encouraged to take along something that is comforting to occupy their time during treatment. Since it is hard to predict how a patient will feel after treatment, it is important that the patient has arrangements to have someone drive them to and from their appointment.
For more information on diagnosis, treatment and more of bladder cancer, visit our bladder cancer information pages below.