Cystoscopy is an integral way for monitoring the bladder for recurrence of bladder cancer. Cystoscopy can be done usually in the office. The schedule for this varies based on the frequency of recurrences, type, grade and stage of bladder cancer.
Treatment in the bladder with medications is called intravesical treatment. There are many different types of intravesical treatments. One of the most common treatments is BCG, but there are many others. In addition, there are ongoing clinical trials in the area to improve treatment for patients who qualify for this type of treatment.
The procedure to remove the bladder is known as a "radical cystectomy." The reason it is referred to as radical is that it implies removing the bladder and any other adjacent structures where the bladder cancer may have spread. This includes surrounding bladder fat, lymph nodes, occasionally the urethra, the prostate in males, and a portion of the vagina (plus or minus the uterus) in females. Although this sounds like a lot, control of the cancer is of the utmost importance in bladder cancer, which can be deadly if not controlled properly at the time of initial diagnosis. Cystectomy in the 21st century is a safe, effective procedure with many ways of creating new urinary drainage systems after bladder removal. Most patients opt for the creation for a new bladder using bowel once the bladder is removed, but other systems of draining the urine (a bag to the skin or new bladder hooked up to the skin that is catheterized to release urine) do exist.