For patients diagnosed with stage four bladder cancer, the disease may have metastasized (spread) to other parts of the body such as the lung, bone or liver. Treatment options may include chemotherapy using the drug cisplatin, with or without surgery or radiation therapy.
“We use chemotherapy, often similar chemotherapy drugs that we might use in people who have stage two or stage three, but the goal of our treatment is different,” says Dr. Arjun Balar, director of the genitourinary medical oncology program at NYU Langone’s Perlmutter Cancer Center. “It’s no longer curative in general and the treatments are geared toward improving symptoms and helping people live longer with their cancer.”Read More
Some patients with advanced bladder cancer may need radiation therapy as part of their treatment plan, which may help to relieve symptoms and improve quality of life. Others may undergo a surgery to remove their bladder, also known as a radical cystectomy, which can help prevent the cancer from coming back. Doctors may be able to either create a new bladder or find a new way for the urine to leave the body, which is called a urinary diversion. Speak to your doctor about which treatment options will work best for you.