Radiation Therapy for Bladder Cancer
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Radiation oncologists at the University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center work together with doctors who specialize in different medical areas to provide treatment that is individualized and well-coordinated.
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Radiation therapy can play an important role in the management of some stages of bladder cancer. Radiation does not play a role in the treatment of superficial bladder cancer, but may be an option for muscle-invasive cancer.
While the standard treatment is a radical cystectomy (removal of the entire bladder) with or without chemotherapy, certain patients may be eligible for an approach that initially uses radiation and chemotherapy. Patients may resort to a cystectomy only if the radiation and chemotherapy has not made the tumor entirely disappear.
Radiation with chemotherapy may also be chosen for others with muscle-invasive bladder cancer who are not eligible for surgery because of other health concerns. UW Health radiation oncologists will discuss your condition and make recommendations for your care.
The best candidates for radiation therapy:
- Have locally resected tumors
- Have only one tumor site
- Can tolerate chemotherapy and 35 radiation treatments
- Must undergo rigorous follow-up after treatment
Learn about radiation oncology at the UW Carbone Cancer.
Radiation Treatment Options
External beam radiation therapy for bladder cancer is generally given using 3D conformal radiotherapy radiation therapy (3DCRT) as well as image guided radiation therapy (IGRT) to deliver treatments that t conform to the shape of the bladder while minimizing the radiation received by other nearby organs.