Bladder Cancer Follow-Up

Bladder Cancer

Follow-up tests

Some of the tests that were done to diagnose the cancer or to find out the stage of the cancer may be repeated. Your physician will usually want a CT scan within one month of a bladder removal surgery. If you are to receive chemotherapy first or are receiving chemotherapy and radiation, some tests will be repeated in order to see how well the treatment is working (CT scan and cystoscopy). Decisions about whether to continue, change or stop treatment may be based on the results of these tests. This is sometimes called re-staging.

After bladder cancer surgery, some of the tests will continue to be done from time to time after treatment has ended. The results of these tests can show if your condition has changed or if the cancer has recurred (come back). These tests are sometimes called follow-up tests or check-ups. The frequency of these tests depends upon the stage and grade of your tumor.

In addition, your physician will ask you to see an anesthesiologist prior to surgery. The anesthesiologist is the physician in charge of putting you to sleep for the surgery and will need to evaluate you before surgery. Your physician may also ask you to see a cardiologist (heart specialist) prior to surgery based on your other health problems or your age. A pulmonologist may also be needed before surgery if you have lung problems such as asthma, emphysema or COPD.

Bladder cancer research program

Dr. Holzbeierlein and Dr. Lee lead a team of researchers hoping to find treatment strategies to reduce the burden of bladder cancer. In the laboratory, Dr. Lee is studying the effects of refined carbohydrates on cancer growth and progression. Additionally, there are ongoing trials including the DEAL (Diet, Exercise, and Lifestyle modification) Trial which will look at the effects of a low carbohydrate diet along with increased exercise in patients with high-risk non-muscle invasive bladder cancer. Additionally, our urologic oncology team is working with a mobile app to improve outcomes in patients undergoing radical cystectomy to improve post-operative outcomes, enhance patient centered communication, and decrease readmission rates following surgery. We also collaborate with multiple investigators throughout the institution on bladder cancer specific research projects. Our work is consistently presented at local, regional and national meetings.