Stopping BCG early - implications for tumour recurrence

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Hi folks,

I read somewhere that people who drop out straight after the induction course have a 60% chance or tumour recurrence within 5 years whereas for people who do the full three years that drops to 40%. I'm about halfway through the BCG program but the side effects are bad and I'm thinking I might have to quit. So my question - what are my chances of tumour recurrence in 5 years now? Is anyone aware of research that addresses this area? Before you say ask your urologist - trust me I've tried! 

  • Hi  . Sorry to hear you are suffering the side effects of BCG. Don't know of statistics, but have read hundreds of posts here over the years and there doesn't seem to be any definite answer. Some people give up early and do not have a recurrence. Others go the whole way and still it comes back. I believe it is all down  to individual cases. I hope all goes well. Best wishes.

    Best wishes to All,   rily.

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  • Can't offer any advice on the stats etc, but I just wanted to say sorry to hear about your BCG issues.

    Is there nothing that can be done to help with the side affects? 

    Take care 


  • Hi Trynab_Stoical , really sorry to hear you are having a bad time with BCG. I am on number 8 and very aware it can get harder the more you have. Has it prevented recurrences for you so far ? I wish there was something you could take to ease the bladder. Sending you hugs

    Much love Angela x

  • Stoical, you may have to at least consider or discuss an RC with your treatment team depending on your attitude to that and your grade just a thought Leo

  • There are drugs that can ease the bladder, so speak to your treatment team.

  • Leo1, can you please state which drugs these are?  Thanks,

  • Mirabegron. Tamsulosin for enlarged prostate. May not be right for you, ask medical team.

  • I think it is the first 6 weeks course that is critical. There has been some debate about the necessity of the maintenance doses. The problem with stats is they can't predict your personal path, only the degree of risk that you are taking. 

  • Thank you.  I have had 18 BCG treatments I think and am starting again in September. The side effects get progressively worse, not only the really painful and frequent passing urine but I get feverish, awful headache, shivering, exhaustion, for about 3 days and have to stay in bed most of the time.

    I had a non invasive tumour removed but my doctor said it was high grade and therefore I need the 3 years treatment. To be honest, I find the treatments difficult to deal with and wish there was something else.....  I do understand it can be a small price to pay but it's so difficult.