Bladder removal

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Hi

Apologise if I am being repetitive

Someone close who has  a bladder cancer went through BCG fifth a few weeks ago - the Bladder is inflamed and he is suffering a lot from it and his age is 74. No medicine has worked so far. 

Not sure where this is going - but the possibility of bladder removal is increasing. It worries everyone here. 

Few have already said that they live a good life without a bladder.

But, the problem with him is is 74 and almost going to 75 - It plays on my head if he should or shoudn't remove the bladder? Or should we just go with the doctors advice on this?

Its just not practical with the problems he is having with frequent urination and having a catheter - Life is pretty much destroyed for him with the catheter. The pain is unbearable.  

He has held on to the pain long enough and at some point in the next few week a decision has to be made.

Any of your opinion, whatever that might be, is greatly received! 

Many thanks

  • Hi Anon_for_patient,  lots of folk on this site describe living a good life without a bladder. It's a way of hopefully clearing the cancer completely. Let's face it bladder cancer is not a choice any of us would seek out, although compared to many other cancers we are fortunate because there are so many different treatments which can be tailored to suit individual needs. If your friend cannot tolerate BCG, then bladder removal could well be a better option. I think it is not so much his age as his fitness and ability to cope with the life changes it will mean. Does he have a Clinical Nurse Specialist that he can talk these issues through with? Seems to me he needs professional guidance to help him reflect on the best way forward. Best wishes to him Hx

  • Thanks Herethedog - yes, he is speaking to multiple medical specialists.

  • Hi,If cystectomy is possible then this would free him of bladder pain.He would have some pain from the surgery but would be given strong pain relief if needed.I found the bladder pain prior to the surgery far worse than the post op pain.See what the doctor says but age shouldn’t rule out surgery.Best wishes Jane 

  • My father in law is 78 and had his bladder and prostate removed last September. It is about general health and fitness, not age, and he is managing very well with a urostomy. I had my bladder removed almost 4 years ago and manage life well with my urostomy though of course I was a bit younger at 58. 

    It puts an end to bladder pain, and overall gives a good quality of life.

    Sarah xx


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  • Also can you please advice what do you all mean by fitness? Except he is 74 and the bladder problems (caused by BCG) - I don't think there is anything that is seriously wrong with him.

    He is extremely weak now though due to bladder issues. 

  • My father in law was fully mobile, no difficulty walking, healthy other than a heart condition for which he is on medication. He could drive, go to the shops, things like that. He didn’t work out or go to the gym or anything like that, but his doctor rated his overall fitness as very good-eating a healthy diet, not overweight, keeping active generally-that’s the sort of thing I meant.

    Sarah xx


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  • Thanks Sarah.

    He has quite a few medics - there are different opinions that he has been receiving.

    His main doctor has adviced against giving anti TB medication but few others have told him to start the anti TB medication might work. 

    I am not sure if its worth a shot of giving him anti TB medication before considering bladder removal but the side effects of anti TB is scary. He is almost immobile from the side effect of BCG and putting him on more anti TB drugs I am not so sure about

  • It must be very difficult to have differing medical opinions-is there not one specific consultant who has overall responsibility for his care? I’m not sure if you are in the UK, so things may be different if you’re not.

    My father in law had muscle invasive bladder cancer, was unable to have chemotherapy due to his heart condition, and so the only viable solution was bladder removal. I suppose that made things simpler in that it was his only option and he went with that. 

    Sarah xx


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