Help my father get the best treatment for his bladder cancer
March 16, 2012 12:02 PM Subscribe
My father is in his late 60s, former smoker (20+ years, quit about 25 years ago.) was recently diagnosed with bladder cancer. Where and how to get the best treatment?
posted by dudeman to health & fitness (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
My father is in his late 60s, former smoker (20+ years, quit about 25 years ago.) was recently diagnosed with bladder cancer. He's receiving treatment at a large local hospital.
He had the initial surgery to remove tumors from the inside of the bladder; this went well although there were more tumors than anticipated. The doctors don't think the tumors had spread to the muscle lining of the bladder. The type of cancer appears to be aggressive. No cancer was detected anywhere else in his body.
He's undergoing 4 rounds of chemo. First round went well. Soon he will go back to have another procedure on his bladder, where they will inspect the bladder and remove any remaining tumors. I expect they'll revisit whether any cancer got into the muscle lining at that time.
Future treatments include BCG, possible radiation, and possible removal of all or part of the bladder.
He would like to get the best possible treatment for his bladder cancer, and also preserve as much quality of life as possible. I'm scared that he's going to be upgraded to Type 2, and with the aggressive nature of the cancer, the prognosis won't be good.
I'm told that the major bladder cancer specialty centers have better outcomes than just getting treatment at a local hospital. He'd prefer to stay local (Maryland/Washington DC area) if possible, but if there's an amazing facility somewhere else and he couldn't get the same standard of care locally, I might convince him to travel.
Mefites, I'm looking to you. Perhaps you've gone through this before or a loved one has gone through it.
Is there a specialty center you'd recommend for a second opinion on the pathology results? Surgical treatments? A particular doctor you'd recommend seeing?
If you were just starting down this road, as he is, what do you wish you knew then that you know now? Any regrets, anything you'd do differently?