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Third area of cancer

Posted by

My pops now 75 yrs old was diagnosed with bowel cancer 10 years ago, only to follow with lung cancer, he had a third of his lung removed, he has copd stage 3 and today, was diagnosed with bladder cancer, he has been urinating red blood and there are concerns ref his prostate, though due to tumour on his bladder, they are more concerned with that than prostate, he is being assessed next week and an op is on the cards, within 2 weeks, he has been given a free parking permit by the cancer specialist, am I still to be optimistic? can he be three times lucky? Although he’s very tired, he looks after wife that is poorly but not life threatening, can he survive, I don’t want to pussy foot about, And don’t need BS right now... advice needed ASAP x

Josie - Macmillan
Posted by

Hi MidnightFantasy,

Thank you for getting in touch with us. What a worrying time for you all.

It’s difficult for us to say what will happen. I’m unsure whether this is a new cancer or whether this is also from his bowel cancer from 10 years ago. If the bladder cancer is a primary cancer, then surgery is always the 1st treatment for cancer and this may be looking at curative intent but if the cancer is from the bowel cancer then this will mean the treatment is more for controlling the cancer.

You mention also they are concerned about his prostate, they may need to do more testing to see what is going on with the prostate. They would need to make sure what is happening with the bladder is not connected with the prostate.

I wonder if having a chat with his medical team would help you understand a little more about what is happening.

Sometimes, it can help to talk to one of our nurses on our Support Line about what is happening. Our lines are open Monday to Friday 9am till 8pm on 0808 808 00 00.

I hope this is helpful. Please do get back in touch if we can be of any more help.

Best wishes


Macmillan Information Nurse Specialist.

Posted by

Hi Josie

Thank you for your response.

Some details to follow still confused.

He has G3PT1 grade 3, he underwent a second scrape, and stent was successfully put into his kidney, the consultant said after surgery, they gave him a good clear out? 

He starts BCG tomorrow, was wondering why no chemotherapy or radiotherapy? 

As before, he’s not a candidate for bladder removal, he is suffering from shaking hands? Is this common? He was given Co-Codamol ? And extremely exhausted, though he’s napping like a cat? He is however in good spirits and still has a wicked sense of humour.

Birthday today, wonderful 75th for my pops who acts 9 & 3/4. He would make you laugh... lots...

I don’t want to google and am grateful for McMillan as your open and honest.

I just wonder... why... after zillions of pounds spent trying to find a cure for all cancer, we are no nearer, I question is there already a cure... are the drug companies and their investors getting rich off the sick.... if they have a cure, is it not given out to keep the population down? 

Sorry Josie, I’m just having a bad day.

Charlie. X

Ellen M-Macmillan
Posted by

Hi Charlie,

Thanks for getting back in touch with us. I’m glad to read that you found Josie’s previous reply helpful.

Please don’t apologise for putting into words how you’re feeling about your pops. It’s okay to have a bad day and question what is happening to someone you love. You wouldn’t be human if you didn’t feel that you wanted to vent your emotions.

I hope your pops had a great birthday and it’s good to read that despite his age and all his medical history that he’s still in good spirits and he still has a wicked sense of humour.

It’s natural to feel confused when you have lots of information. There are different types of bladder cancer and from the details that you have given us so far it sounds as if your pops has an early non-invasive bladder cancer. This means that the cancer cells are only in the inner lining of the bladder. They have not spread (invaded) into the muscle layer.

The treatment for this type of cancer depends on the grade (G) of the cancer. How the cells look under the microscope. A grade 3 bladder cancer means that the cancer cells grow more quickly and are more likely to come back after treatment or spread into the deeper (muscle) layer of the bladder.

The (T) describes the stage of the cancer and the letter P before the T describes the stage after the area has been removed at surgery. A PT1 bladder cancer means has started to grow into the connective tissue beneath the bladder lining (T1).

Treatment decisions are made by a group of experts called a MDT.

The treatment someone is offered depends on where the cancer is, how far it has grown or spread (the stage), the type of cancer, how abnormal the cells look under a microscope (the grade) and someone’s general health and level of fitness

Because your pops bladder cancer is a grade 3 and has started to grow into the connective tissue beneath the bladder lining then he would be offered treatment for a high risk early bladder cancer. The choices of treatments after surgery are a course of BCG vaccines into the bladder or surgery to remove the bladder. Research has proven that these are the most effective treatments for the type, stage and grade of your pops cancer.

It’s understandable why you’re sounding frustrated and questioning why despite spending zillions of pounds on research doctors still haven’t found a cure for cancer. This is because there are over 200 types of cancers and each behave in different ways. There has been lots of advancements in the treatments of cancers by scientist. But sadly, we are still a long way from finding a cure for all cancers. The idea that drug companies and their investors have a cure for cancer but are withholding it has been talked about for decades. But there is no evidence that there is a conspiracy.

People with a cancer diagnosis often experience extreme tiredness. But there could be other reasons that your pops is feeling like this too. Medicines such as co-codamol to control pain can make people feel tired and sleepy. It could be due to all his medical conditions and recent surgery, so it would be a good idea for him to talk to his GP about how he is feeling so that he can get be properly assessed. Especially, the shaking hands as it’s not something we would expect from someone who has bladder cancer.

If you think it would be helpful to do why not join our supportive bladder cancer group. There is always someone there willing and able to share their experiences with you. Often talking to others who now what it’s like can be helpful to do.

Best wishes and take care.

Ellen-Macmillan Online Digital Nurse Specialist.