What are the side effects of chemotherapy for bladder cancer?
Common side effects of chemo include:
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Loss of appetite.
- Hair loss.
- Mouth sores.
- Increased risk of infections (because of a shortage of white blood cells)
- Easy bleeding or bruising, even after minor cuts or injuries (due to a shortage of blood platelets)
What does chemo do to your bladder?
Radiation to the pelvic area can irritate the bladder. Cancer medications including chemotherapy can cause nerve damage, vomiting that puts stress on the bladder, irritation of the bladder, or hormone changes. Having less of certain hormones can make incontinence worse.
How long does chemo take for bladder cancer?
Chemotherapy for invasive bladder cancer is nearly always a course of treatment, taking several months in total. You have chemotherapy treatment into a vein and then have a break of a week or two. This makes up one cycle of chemotherapy treatment.
Does bladder cancer respond to chemo?
If the cancer has spread to other parts of the body, you may have chemotherapy as your main treatment. Chemotherapy may help to shrink and control the cancer and improve your symptoms. It may help you live for longer.
What happens in the final stages of bladder cancer?
Decreased amount of urine. Loss of bladder and bowel control. Restlessness or repetitive, involuntary movements. Confusion about time, place, and identity of people, including family members and close friends.
Is chemotherapy painful?
Does chemotherapy hurt? IV chemotherapy should not cause any pain while being administered. If you experience pain, contact the nurse taking care of you to check your IV line. An exception would be if there is a leak and the drug gets into surrounding tissues.
What damage does chemotherapy do to the body?
Chemotherapy can cause fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, bowel issues such as constipation or diarrhoea, hair loss, mouth sores, skin and nail problems. You may have trouble concentrating or remembering things. There can also be nerve and muscle effects and hearing changes. You will be at increased risk of infections.
Do the side effects of chemo get worse with each treatment?
The effects of chemo are cumulative. They get worse with each cycle. My doctors warned me: Each infusion will get harder. Each cycle, expect to feel weaker.
Can chemo alone cure bladder cancer?
For muscle-invasive bladder cancer, our doctors may recommend chemotherapy before surgery. This treatment approach is called neoadjuvant chemotherapy. Large clinical studies have shown that this method improves cure rates and long-term survival for people with muscle-invasive bladder cancer.
How often is chemo given for bladder cancer?
Intravesical chemotherapy or immunotherapy may used for intermediate non-invasive bladder cancers. Some studies suggest that immunotherapy works best. It’s done once a week for 6 weeks, and may be repeated for another 6 weeks if needed. This is called induction therapy.