About the department
At Fortis Hospitals, Bannerghatta Road, the Department of Uro-oncology is a specialist centre for the treatment and management of bladder cancer. The department houses a string of cancer specialists who have rich experience in diagnosing, staging and treating all types of bladder cancer.
The bladder often called urinary bladder is a muscular sac which collects urine from the kidneys and stores it for excretion. This fleshy storage tank is lined by layers of muscle tissue which can stretch out and shrink back to hold and empty the urine. From the inside towards the outside, the layers are named as Urothelium, Lamina propria, and Perivesical soft tissue.
Many diseases and conditions can originate in the temporary storage reservoir of urine, the bladder. Out of all, Bladder Cancer is the most common one. Bladder cancer develops when the cells in the bladder lining turn abnormal and grow out of control - leading to the formation of one or more tumors overtime. It invariably begins at the innermost layer of the bladder which is the Urothelium and penetrates the other bladder layers as it grows. In severe cases, the cancerous cells can spread to nearby lymph nodes and distant parts of the body like bones, liver and lungs forming metastatic cancer.
As the urinary bladder is one of the key components of the urinary system, the development of cancer in it can be a serious health concern. It can make your trip to the bathroom more frequent and more urgent and can also make you witness blood in the urine. Though anyone can develop bladder cancer, it is more likely to occur in men than in women. When detected in an early stage, this cancer is highly treatable.
At Fortis Hospitals, Bannerghatta Road, our designated centre for bladder cancer provides a wide spectrum of services from diagnosis and staging, to treatment, rehabilitation and palliative support for the victims of bladder cancer. It is armed with world-class facilities, state-of-the-art infrastructure and the latest healthcare advancements like da Vinci Xi surgical system to efficiently treat and cure all types of bladder cancer including the complex and rare ones. Apart from working on the curative measures through expert medical and nursing care, the department also focuses on preventive measures through education and awareness programs to eradicate cancer completely and make way for the “Cancer-free” world.
The research team at our department is goaled to beat cancer even before it makes its presence. Our research wing is the largest of its kind in the country and leads the league by pioneering new treatment approaches that are achieved through a wide range of clinical tests and trials.
Areas of Care
The Department of Uro-oncology at Fortis Hospital, Bannerghatta Road is a designated centre for treating all types of bladder cancers.
Based on how the tumour cells look, bladder cancer can be of 3 types.
- Urothelial carcinoma
- Squamous cell carcinoma
Based on the invasiveness, bladder cancer can be of 3 types.
- Non-invasive bladder cancer
- Papillary carcinoma
- Carcinoma in situ
- Non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer
- Muscle-invasive bladder cancer
Have been treating hundreds of bladder cancer cases every year, including the most complex and rare ones, our specialists at Fortis can determine which treatment plan will be the most successful at treating your bladder cancer and will help you get designated as “Cancer Survivor”.
Symptoms & Diagnosis
Signs and Symptoms of Bladder Cancer
The very first symptom is blood in your urine and you may also experience other red flags like fatigue, weight loss, and bone tenderness. Experiencing these symptoms doesn't always make you a victim of bladder cancer; it may be an indication of you having some other conditions like urinary tract infection or bladder infection. However, if you experience any of the following symptoms severely and frequently, you should pay attention and visit your doctor. Check
- If you notice blood in the urine
- If you experience pain during urination
- If you notice colour changes of the urine
- If you urinate frequently
- If you experience urgent urination
- If you have urinary incontinence
- If you experience pain in the abdominal area
- If you experience pain in the lower back
- If you can’t urinate, even when you feel like you have to
- If you need to urinate, even when your bladder isn't full
If you experience one or more above-mentioned symptoms and if they are persistent, it’s important to get them checked by visiting your healthcare provider.
Our Diagnostic Services
If bladder cancer is suspected, your doctor may perform a wide array of tests and scans to diagnose and confirm its presence. If cancer is found, the doctor may recommend additional tests to learn about what the stage of the cancer is and how far it has travelled to other parts of the body.
The tests to diagnose bladder cancer are:
A cystoscopy is a procedure that allows the doctor to check for the health of your urethra and bladder. During this procedure, a cystoscope with a camera and light is inserted into the bladder through the urethra to examine its interiors.
Biopsy is a procedure for removing a small amount of tissue from the bladder and examining it under a microscope for abnormalities. This procedure is usually carried out if the doctor strongly suspects cancer as a result of cystoscopy or any other less invasive tests.
Urine cytology is a test that the doctor performs to look for cancer cells in the urine. This procedure cannot confirm cancer nor can it rule out cancer. So, if abnormal cells are found in this test, the doctor may recommend additional tests.
Imaging tests like computerised tomography Urogram, Retrograde Pyelogram can be performed to get pictures of the inside of the body and help examine the structures of the urinary tract.
- CT Urogram: This is an imaging test which uses a combination of a CT scan and a special dye to look at the urinary tract. During this test, the contrast dye is injected into one of the veins in the hand and allowed to reach the kidneys, ureters and bladder. Then, X-ray images are taken checking for the presence of any tumors or abnormalities.
- Retrograde pyelogram: During this imaging test, a dye is injected through a catheter that is inserted into the bladder through the urethra. Then X-ray images are taken to produce detailed images of them. This test is highly preferred for people who can’t have intravenous pyelogram.
After confirming the presence of cancer through the above-mentioned tests, your doctor may conduct additional tests to determine what the grade and stage of the cancer are. The tests to study the stage and grade of the cancer are
A CT scan provides detailed cross-sectional images of the kidney, bladder, ureters and other organs using an X-ray and a computer. The obtained images can be used to identify the size, shape and position of the tumor and enlarged lymph nodes that contain cancer.
A MRI scan provides detailed images of the kidney, bladder, and ureters using a combination of radio waves and a strong magnetic field. To improve the visibility of a particular tissue, sometimes a special dye can be given before the commencement of the scanning procedure.
When bladder cancer metastasizes, it can reach the bones. So, a bone scan is performed to look for cancer cells in the bones. This scan isn't done unless you experience bone pain or unless your blood tests show chances for the spread of cancer to your bones.
An X-ray of the chest may be done if the doctor suspects the spread of cancer to the lungs. The presence of cancerous cells in the lungs is an indication that bladder cancer has reached its advanced stage.
Based on these test results, your doctor assigns your cancer a stage - using the numerals 0 to IV. The lower the numeral is, the higher the chances for successful treatment.
Depending on the type, stage and grade of the bladder cancer, the treatment plan may include any one of the following or a combination of all the following modalities.
A surgery can be performed to remove the cancerous tissue or the whole bladder and some of its nearby tissues. The approaches to perform the surgery might include
- Transurethral resection of bladder tumor (TURBT)
- Radical cystectomy and lymph node dissection
- Urinary diversion
Urinary diversion is often performed after the bladder removal to help your body exit the urine. It can be done through Neo-bladder reconstruction, Ileal conduit or Continent urinary reservoir based on your health condition.
This treatment option uses powerful drugs to kill the fast-growing cancer cells in your body. The drug can be administered either through a vein in the arm or through the urethra directly to the bladder. Your doctor may use one drug or a combination of different drugs to carry out this therapy.
Radiation therapy: Radiation therapy involves the process of directing high-energy beams to your cancer point for destroying the cancer cells. The high energy beams are delivered by a machine which is kept nearby the body. It is not a primary treatment for bladder cancer but can be performed in combination with chemotherapy.
Your doctor can perform immunotherapy to stimulate and boost your body’s immune system to recognise the cancer cells and fight against them. Immunotherapy can be administered directly into the bladder through the urethra.
Though all the fore-mentioned treatment options are available to treat bladder cancer, cancer patients do not always fit easily into a certain type of treatment modality. This is because the general health of the patients and how far cancer has spread varies greatly for each one. Therefore, to address this problem, our multidisciplinary team of doctors and specialists will work with you and your family to develop a comprehensive treatment plan that closely matches your personal preferences.
Cancer is scary. It brings both physical and emotional stress for you and your loved ones. Like you, our cancer care team also understands how distressing it is to get diagnosed with cancer. Therefore, at Fortis, your treatment course will be promptly followed by a personalized rehabilitation regime that will help you to better manage your stress and restore your physical and emotional well-being. As bladder cancer may reoccur, our follow-up care focuses mainly to watch out for a recurrence of it and prevent it.
Our team that cares
Our Uro-oncology centre in the southern part of the country has brought together a multidisciplinary team of cancer experts, urologists, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, radiologists, pathologists, psychiatrists and counsellors, palliative care providers, trained nurses and other technical staff from all parts of the country to provide complete bladder cancer treatment and management. At Fortis, our patients receive the benefits of our experts’ experience combined with one-stop care, which has lead us to achieve high patient satisfaction scores that are among the top in the nation.
The needs of no two patients are the same. Our Uro-oncology team at Fortis Hospital, Bannerghatta Road better understands this and offers personalised care for you by developing a treatment plan that is specifically tailored to you and your needs.