Your Winship care team draws on Emory's vast resources in surgical oncology, radiation therapy, urology and medical oncology, to provide state-of-the-art practices and treatments for bladder cancer.
Our multidisciplinary care teams include radiologists, pathologists, dermatologists, neurologists, pharmacists and advanced practice nurses with expertise in bladder cancer and genitourinary cancers. As specialists, our teams develop groundbreaking treatments that produce better outcomes and are adopted by other leading cancer centers.
View video to learn about bladder cancer as explained by Winship urologist Mehrdad Alemozaffar, MD.
The benefits of our multidisciplinary and highly experienced teams include:
- Access to doctors and surgeons who rank among the top cancer experts in the world.
- Weekly review of patient cases by the full team of experts.
- Coordinated scheduling for appointments among various specialties.
- Access to a nurse navigator to assist you throughout the treatment process.
- Access to support groups and education classes for you and your caregivers.
- Availability of new treatment options within our clinical trials program.
A patient with bladder cancer symptoms may have one or more of the following procedures:
- Physical exam: to feel for tumors in the abdomen and pelvis.
- Urine test (or cytology): allows the laboratory to check for signs of disease such as blood and cancer cells.
- Intravenous pyelogram: a patient's blood vessel is injected with dye. The dye will then collect in the urine and allow the bladder to show up on x-rays.
- Cystoscopy: a thin, lighted tube called a cystoscope is inserted into the bladder through the urethra. A patient may be sedated during this procedure.
- Blue light cystoscopy: a new technology known as Cysview® is offered at Winship to diagnose tumors found in the bladder. Unlike regular cystoscopy where some tumors can be missed due to size, this enhanced imaging procedure helps oncologists find bladder tumors of any size more easily by using Cysview (hexaminolevulinate HCL) which turns cancerous cells in the bladder bright pink or red under a blue light. This allows for more complete removal of the tumor and a decreased chance of the tumor recurring. View video to learn more about blue light cystoscopy.
Your care team will discuss treatment options with you and it is important to take time and consider all possible choices. It is also important to know that your chances for having the best possible outcome are highest in the hands of a medical team that is experienced in treating bladder cancer.
One or more of the following types of treatment will be used.
Also view video for an explanation of treatment options.
Surgery: There are several surgical options for patients with bladder cancer including:
- Transurethral resection may be used to treat early forms of bladder cancer by removing the cancer and burning away any remaining cancer cells with an electric current.
- Segmental (or partial) cystectomy may be used when a patient has a low-grade cancer that has invaded the bladder wall in just one area. During this treatment, only part of the bladder is removed.
- Radical cystectomy is used to treat invasive bladder cancer by removing the entire bladder, the surrounding lymph nodes, part of the urethra and nearby organs that may contain cancerous cells.
Radiation: Options for bladder cancer treatment may include external radiation or internal radiation techniques that use high-energy rays to kill cancer from either outside or inside the body. Learn more about radiation therapy treatments and services.
Chemotherapy: May be used to treat patients whose cancer has deeply invaded the bladder or spread to the lymph nodes or other organs. Chemotherapy may be combined with other treatment options.
Immunotherapy: This type of treatment is sometimes used for early or low stage bladder cancer that has high risk for returning (recurrence) or becoming more advanced disease.
In addition to delivering the highest quality medical care, we recognize the importance of the psychological and emotional aspects of living with a cancer diagnosis and of dealing with treatment. Our supportive oncology team addresses these issues in a timely manner with additional support from counselors, nurse navigators, dietitians and social service professionals.
Your Treatment Team
- As part of the genitourinary oncology team, Dr. Carthon treats patients with prostate, bladder, and renal cancers and other genitourinary malignancies.
- Assistant Professor, Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology, Emory University School of Medicine
- (404) 778-1900
- Board certified in clinical and anatomic pathology, Dr. Ellis specializes in urologic pathology (genitourinary) and non-neoplastic renal pathology.
- Assistant Professor, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine
- (404) 712-5947
- Dr. Issa's clinical and research interests include urological oncology, stones, endourology, minimally invasive surgery, clinical outcomes, and healthcare economics and operational strategies.
- Professor, Department of Urology, Emory University School of Medicine
- (404) 778-4898
- Dr. Patel specializes in the treatment of genitourinary and gynecological malignancies as well as the use of high-dose rate brachytherapy and stereotactic body radiation therapy.
- Assistant Professor, Department of Radiation Oncology, Emory University School of Medicine
- (404) 778-3473