Follow-up care is extraordinarily important to screen for bladder cancer recurrence – a reappearance of cancer cells, either in the bladder or elsewhere in the body, after the primary treatment for bladder cancer is completed. This care will be scheduled by your physician to ensure that if your bladder cancer should reappear, it is treated early for maximum effectiveness.
Your follow-up plan may include a variety of physical examinations and/or medical tests, all designed to detect any abnormalities that might indicate bladder cancer recurrence. These examinations and/or tests may include:
- A general physical examination
- Cystoscopy (unless the bladder has been removed)
- Blood and urine tests
If your previous treatment involved a urinary diversion, your physician may also check for infection, signs of recurrent cancer in your upper urinary tract and, through blood tests and X-rays, any changes in kidney function.
While each patient’s cancer is unique, experts have suggested that when recovering from bladder cancer, patients should strive to engage in a healthy lifestyle. Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight, not smoking, eating well and engaging in sensible exercise all help to rebuild strength and energy.
As with many other types of cancer, there’s always a chance for recurrence with bladder cancer. If your bladder cancer does return, our team of cancer experts are equipped to treat it as aggressively as necessary, using the most advanced surgical, radiation, and chemotherapy treatments. What’s more, we are always looking to preserve our patients’ ability to live their lives to the fullest. The dedicated team of cancer experts at Moffitt Cancer Center are spending countless hours researching and coordinating clinical trials aimed at developing new options for combatting the disease. Because of these efforts, our Genitourinary Oncology Program can offer treatments that simply aren’t available anywhere else. Our success rate, coupled with our designation as a Comprehensive Cancer Center by the National Cancer Institute, makes us a much sought-after treatment facility for patients from around the world.
Medically Reviewed by, Scott Gilbert, MD, Department of Genitourinary Oncology.