Your Winship care team draws on Emory's vast resources in urologic oncology, radiation therapy, and medical oncology, to provide state-of-the-art practices and treatments for bladder cancer.
Our multidisciplinary care teams also include radiologists, pathologists, pharmacists, nutritionists, and advanced practice nurses with expertise in bladder cancer and other genitourinary cancers. As specialists, our teams develop groundbreaking treatments that produce better outcomes and are adopted by other leading cancer centers.
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.
- Availability of new treatment options within our clinical trials program.
Request an Appointment
We understand that this is a very stressful time. We welcome your questions and requests for help. Learn what to expect on your first visit.
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.
- Imaging: a patient receives an injection of contrast dye that will then collect in the urine and highlight the bladder and ureters on CT scan or MRI.
- Cystoscopy: a thin, lighted scope called a cystoscope is inserted into the bladder through the urethra to examine the lining of the bladder.
- Blue light cystoscopy: a new technology utilizing chemical fluorescence that enhances the ability to diagnose and treat small, hard to see tumors found in the bladder. Unlike regular cystoscopy where small or flat tumors can be missed, this enhanced cystoscopy procedure helps urologists find bladder tumors of any size more easily. This approach uses Cysview® (hexaminolevulinate HCL), which turns tumors bright pink or red using a special light. Bluelight cystoscopy allows for removal of otherwise undetectable tumors and may reduce recurrences.
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 depending on your specific tumor characteristics.
Intravesical therapy: Instillation of medication (chemotherapy or immunotherapy) directly into the bladder for non-invasive bladder cancer to reduce recurrence and progression of disease. Emory offers multiple options including Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (or BCG), mitomycin, gemcitabine, docetaxel, and others.
Surgery: There are several surgical options for patients with bladder cancer including:
- Transurethral resection using a scope may be used to treat less aggressive 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 in very select cases when a patient has a cancer in an isolated site within the bladder. During this treatment, only part of the bladder is removed.
- Radical cystectomy is used to treat muscle-invasive bladder cancer by removing the entire bladder, the surrounding lymph nodes, part of the urethra and nearby organs that may contain cancerous cells. This is the gold standard treatment for people with muscle invasive bladder cancer.
Radiation: External beam radiation uses high-energy rays to kill cancer. This can be used, often in combination with chemotherapy, to treat patients with muscle invasive, or more advanced, disease.
Chemotherapy: Intravenous therapy (or IV) medications that treat the entire body 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 recently developed type of treatment uses medications to enhance your body's own immune system, which can then recognize and kill cancer cells. Immunotherapy can be used for recurrent superficial bladder cancer as well as for metastatic cancer.
In addition to standard therapy, participating in clinical trials may be an option in certain cases. Clinical trials provide patients access to new medications that are being developed to treat bladder cancer. Consider talking with your doctor about participating in a clinical trial at Winship.
Supportive Oncology Care
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
- Physician Diagnosticians
- Nurse Navigators
- Adv Practice
- Support Services
- Clinical Trials
- As part of the genitourinary oncology team, Dr. Carthon treats patients with prostate, bladder, and renal cancers and other genitourinary malignancies.
- Associate Professor, Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology, Emory University School of Medicine
- (404) 778-1900
- A medical oncologist with a major interest in nutrition and cancer prevention, Dr. Kucuk mainly treats patients with prostate, bladder and kidney cancer.
- Professor and Correll Chair in Genitourinary Cancer, Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology, Emory University School of Medicine
- (404) 778-1900
- Dr. Patel specializes in the treatment of genitourinary and gastrointestinal malignancies as well as the use of high-dose rate brachytherapy, stereotactic body radiation therapy and proton therapy.
- Associate Professor, Department of Radiation Oncology, Emory University School of Medicine
- (404) 778-3473
- 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. Master is a renowned national expert in the surgical treatment of kidney cancer particularly a complex variety that extends into the main blood vessels and the heart.
- Director of Integrative Oncology and Survivorship, Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University
- (404) 778-4898
- Dr. Goldman practices general medical oncology and hematology with a focus on treating patients with genitourinary cancer at Emory Saint Joseph's Hospital.
- Assistant Professor, Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology, Emory University School of Medicine
- (404) 778-1900
- Dr. Newsome's clinical specialties include uterine fibroid embolization, ablative and catheter-directed treatments for cancer, among others.
- Division Director and Chief, Interventional Radiology and Image-Guided Medicine, Emory University Hospital Midtown
- (404) 778-4747