Mum has bladder cancer

My mum has been diagnosed with bladder cancer and we have been told there is nothing that can be done. She is 88 and I am finding it difficult to get any information on what to expect in the coming months. As the referral was messed up by the surgeon I have not seen anyone who can help me and am starting to get quite stressed.

  • Morning  

    Welcome to the Mac Community, so sorry to read about your poor mum being diagnosed with this :(

    When you mention surgeon, does this mean your mum has had some surgery but they can't offer her further treatments like chemotherapy or radiotherapy - or has she not even having any surgery - and what was the referral to that was messed up ?

    Sorry for the questions but just trying to figure out where would be the best place to get answers (his surgeon or those who she was going to be referred to)

    There are several reasons as to why they say nothing can be done. It could be well advanced, spread and/or attached to other organs or arteries, it could be your mum has other underlying health problems that could be made life threatening if chemotherapy was used.

    I would check this out more thoroughly as there is nearly always something they can do if only treating problems the cancer is creating or palliative care.

    There are a couple of groups you could have a look at and join here if you feel they will be of help to you both. One is the Bladder Group (link) and if you are helping in a caring role the very active  Carers Group.

    There is also a Supporting Someone With Incurable Cancer Group if you get told this is now the situation you are both facing.

    There are a couple of options open if you are still having problems getting the information you need from the hospital. You could get to see your mums GP and see what information they could pass onto you from her medical records, as their findings should have been updated to her file, or you could contact the hospitals PALS (Patient Liaison Service) department and get them to chase things up.

    Hope this is of some help at a worrying time. Take care, G n' J

  • The surgeon only did a biopsy but told us straight away that there was nothing that could be done - her age and other health problems prevent her from full courses of radio therapy or chemo. He then failed to refer her for a month so palliative care teams didnt get involved either. She is back in hospital now with urosepsis and at last she is getting the support she needs. I think i will probably benefit from the supporting someone with incurable cancer group and the carers group. I would like to know how the cancer will progress and what to look out for. I have asked the doctor and she couldnt tell me. Still waiting to see an oncologist so that might help.

  • Hi  

    It is hard to say how this could play out without knowing which other areas her cancer is affecting. You could try and get her pathology and diagnosis information but even with this added information no one can predict how slowly or rapidly things may progress :(

    Macmillan and Marie Curie produce a booklet "End of Life: A Guide" but this could be way early to be needing to read that. However if you think it may be useful at some time do let us know and I'll place the link in for you to read through it.

    I hope you mum recovers from the urosepsis ok, that can be quite scary.

    Hugs, G n' J

  • Hi Lizzie10. Sorry to hear about your Mum. Bladder cancer can come in many forms and in many cases can be treated. The treatment ,however, can be long and punishing, and decisions are made on whether or not the body can tolerate the harsh treatment. Without scans, it would not be known if other parts of the body are affected. When the biopsy was done, the urologist would have been able to see the inside of the bladder on camera and would be able to make a visual assessment. Some surgeons are not very forthcoming with information which obviously causes anxiety. When you see the oncologist, you should be given more details. Prepare your questions beforehand. As Dreamthief says, without the full picture, it would be difficult for anyone to comment on what the future holds. I wish you and Mum all the best.

    Best wishes to All,   rily.

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  • Thanks for that information.  Mum seems to be recovering from the urosepsis - what is worrying is that in the 2 weeks before she was admitted to hospital 2 of her GP's saw her and 1 diagnosed a chest infection whilst the other said it was a panic attack!! We have been told by the hospital that she will be prone to urine infections so next time I will be asking the G P to check for that first.