Bladder Cancer - Treat Stage IV

Stage IV cancers are very hard to get rid of completely because of its severity. Stage IV cancers have one or more of these:

  • reached the abdominal
  • reached pelvic wall (T4b tumors)
  • have spread to nearby lymph nodes
  • have spread to distant parts of the body

The extent of cancer makes it hard to get rid of or kill the cancer cells completely.

In most cases surgery can’t remove all of the tumor, even in radical cystectomy. Aim of treatment is to slow the cancer growth and spread in order to help patients live longer and feel better. Before surgery, it’s recommended that patients and doctors discuss and patients understand the goal of the operation, is it trying to cure the cancer, to live longer, or relieve symptoms.

For stage IV bladder cancers that have not spread to distant sites, chemotherapy is usually the first treatment. If the cancer shrinks after chemo, a cystectomy could be the next step. Patients who can’t tolerate chemo might be treated with radiation therapy or immunotherapy, common immunotherapy drugs include atezolizumab and pembrolizumab.

For stage IV bladder cancers that have spread to distant areas, chemotherapy is usually the first treatment, sometimes along with radiation therapy. Radiation therapy or immunotherapy can be alternative treatment for patients who can’t tolerate chemo.

Current treatment is unlikely to cure stage IV cancers, some patients choose to take part in a clinical trial for newer forms of treatment that might help live longer or relieve symptoms.

* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.