Bladder cancer

A place for people affected by bladder cancer to support one another, ask questions, and share their experiences.

79 year old Dad diagnosed with bladder cancer

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My dad was diagnosed with bladder cancer last August, he has been receiving treatment, had 3 ops to date. Last one showed it had gone into outer wall. 

He is 79 80 soon on some meds but in relative good health. Saw doctor today said radiotherapy whilst would hit the bad bit, his surface area where other grow could come would not be treated at the same time.

Offered bladder removal if deemed fit enough and a trial place open surgery v key hole potentially . He would have gone for radiotherapy but hearing no guarantee would stop the issue and talking to his friend who had his bladder removed he seems certain of the removal . 

Getting the bladder out seems the best thing if he is fit enough, mortality rates were advised. I asked the question the op worries me less it’s the higher rate of issues after the op in less than a month that scares me. 

Appreciate everyone is different and we count our blessings compared to others including other family members he is still in a good place. 

Not helped with being only child, mum doesn’t drive and dad is a massive help to my kids. So confused.. I’m making sure I’m going to the appointments from now on, as mum forgets as well.

No idea what’s round the corner as people say one day at a time. 

Posted by

Hi  and welcome to the community and our bladder group. Sorry to hear about your dad, but lovely to know you are here to support him. Firstly, be aware that a person's age does not determine treatment, it is the ability to manage treatment that counts. Another thing, ignore mortality rates on google, they are not consistent and everyone is an individual. I went the radiotherapy route. but not everyone is a good candidate for this. Bladder removal is a big op, but we have had members here in their 90s getting through this. Whatever way he decides to go, he needs to get as much information as possible before deciding. I am tagging my friend  and hope he or someone else  will pick this up with his experience of removal. Just as an aside, my response was quick as I was looking in as you posted so please be patient for others replies. Best wishes.

Best wishes to All,   rily.  What is a Community Champion ?

Posted by

Thank you, I just want to understand more and be there to help my dad and mum. 

Posted by

Hello fishinghips

Rily is correct when he says that suitability for surgery/cystectomy is dependent on patient fitness not age. That said, be under no illusion that it's a big operation lasting 5 to 7 hours for both conduit/stoma and sometimes a. Bit longer for neobladder. It's a battering for the body, takes up to a year to fully recover but can be does remove the cancer.

I opted for surgery as my cancer was aggressive and invasive so removal was the. Best option for me. It's worth saying that deciding what treatment to have is a very personal choice and you can opt for treatment other than that recommended, and at the hospital of your choice.

If you Dad does opt for cystectomy, he might benefit from robotic surgery as there is less blood loss and better initial recovery. He can choose a stoma and pouch or if suitable for it, a neobladder. Teasswill or another neo expert can explain more about that.

I've had my stoma for 2.5 years now, it's a doddle to manage, I change my pouch daily and leaks are rare. My slightly modified life continues much as before diagnosis and I remain free of cancer.

At this stage I don't want to bombard you with information so please feel free to ask any questions, however personal you may feel they are.

I wish your Dad a successful treatment path once he knows where he is with stage, grade and treatment options.


What if the Hokey Cokey IS what it's all about?

Posted by

Latest info does seem to indicate fairly equal success with RC & chemo vs radiotherapy & chemo. Best to get info for pros & cons of each therapy, how it will affect in the short & long term 

RC does take several months for full recovery, plus effort of new 'training' if that is an option. There's no one best option, it's what will suit each individual best. So weigh it all up & ensure an informed decision is made. There's usually someone here who can give a personal account of experiencing each treatment, but bear in mind individual experiences can differ. Best wishes.

Posted by

Hi Fishinghips and as is always said, sorry you have cause to be here but you are indeed very welcome. I've found the group a real lifeline. My husband is only a very few years younger than your Dad though I'm a chunk younger. If you stick my name in the search box you can easily find my previous posts. [They're dotted about in in different 'discussions] Some of them are about the pros and cons of going for removal and what may influence the persuasive way bladder removal can be presented by some doctors/surgeons. Yes removal will remove the tumour he's got now and leave no place for new ones. However if this tumour can be treated with radiotherapy it's worth asking if there's any reason why he cannot have either immunotherapy [BCG] or chemotherapy [Mitomycin] to ward off new tumours in the rest of his bladder as time goes on. The level of side effects from those is very individual but we never missed a day of caring for our pre-school grandson once a week through those. And this gave us a tremendous positive to look forward to.

Macmillan's booklet on bladder removal gives a really sensible overview of the issues and different procedures, just phone and they will post you one out.

In the meantime have you signed up with your local carers' organisation? I'm pretty sure you would qualify and they can be a lot of help, and an assessment is free and your legal right.

Sending hugs, my friend was an only child who had a lot of pressure seeing her  parents through their declining years and it was the same for my Mum before that and it is tough.