Bladder cancer

Bladder cancer occurs when abnormal cells start growing out of control. Over time, these cells form a mass (tumor). Geisinger is one of the few programs in the region with doctors specializing in bladder cancer. Our specialized care helps you get the best available treatment.

Urine helps your body get rid of liquid waste. Your bladder plays an important role in this process by:

  • Storing urine
  • Sending signals to the brain when you need to go to the bathroom
  • Eliminating urine from the body


What you should know about bladder cancer

  • Cancer often starts in the inner lining of the bladder.
  • More advanced cancers grow into the layers of the bladder wall. This type of cancer is more difficult to treat and requires care from a team of specialists like ours.


Why choose Geisinger for your bladder cancer care?

  • Precision treatment: Treatments such as including intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) offer more precision than standard radiation therapy. IMRT breaks up tumors while protecting healthy tissue nearby. This approach lowers the risk of complications such as losing bladder control (urinary incontinence). Find out more about radiation therapy.
  • Minimally invasive treatments: We use minimally invasive techniques such as endoscopy to remove tumors. Endoscopy is gentler on your body than surgery because we do not make incisions or move tissue around. Instead, we access and remove tumors by sliding tiny instruments up the tube (urethra) that helps your bladder eliminate urine. You can expect less pain after treatment and a faster recovery. Read more about cancer treatment.
  • Comfortable experience: Many of our facilities are newly renovated with your comfort in mind. Our exam rooms are large enough for your loved ones to join you in conversations about your care. If you need chemotherapy, we offer heated chemotherapy chairs with individual TVs. Some of our clinics offer iPads for entertainment during treatments or long tests.

Treatment options

Our team includes cancer doctors who specialize in bladder-sparing treatments that help you maintain your independence.

  • Chemotherapy : Strong drugs destroy cancer cells, prevent them from spreading or slow their growth.
  • Cancer clinical trials : Get access to potentially life-saving treatments by participating in a national clinical research study.
  • Immunotherapy : We use drugs made of special proteins (biologics) to jumpstart the immune system. Biologics help your body detect and destroy cancer.
  • Intravesical therapy : Using a small, flexible tube (catheter), we deliver cancer-fighting drugs, which may include immunotherapy or chemotherapy, directly to the bladder.
  • Radiation therapy : This treatment uses radiation (X-ray) beams to destroy cancer cells.
  • Surgery : Pediatric surgeons remove tumors without harming nearby organs or tissues.

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