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Urinary Tract Cancers

Recurring bladder cancer

02/26/2004

Question:

Hello,

I am one of the men who have recurring insignificant bladder cancer.

I believe the purpose of the BCG and mitomycin treatments after surgical removal of the cancer is to kill any of the cancers left in the bladder that the surgeon could not see. Is this correct?

If so, then would it not be a good idea to go beyond the usual 6 treatments of BCG and mitomycin in order to keep killing the cancers? Maybe like once a month for the rest of my life? Assuming of course that I can tolerate the treatment.

Thanks

Answer:

You make an interesting point. There has been much written as to the value of maintenance therapy especially related to BCG. After the 6 week course some have recommended monthly instillations for 12-24 months. Others instill another dose weekly for three weeks every three months. The studies showing the benefit of these approaches is mixed and has not uniformly supported the value of maintenance. I suggest you discuss the concept of maintenance with your treating physician.

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Response by:

Martin I Resnick, MD Martin I Resnick, MD
Formerly, Professor of Urology
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University