Has anyone had this surgery without having Chemotherapy first?
As this is the option I have now been given.
Hi Mocking bird
I had chemo first but know many people who had it after or not at all. Feel free to ask an any questions.
What if the Hokey Cokey IS what it's all about?
The consultant had said that they give Chemotherapy before surgery to increase life expectancy, but now they say because I'm otherwise fit and healthy I don't necessarily need it.
Statistically, having chemo improves survival rates to 5 years post treatment by 5%. For my grade and stage at 62 when diagnosed, cystectomy survival rates were about 80% so you could argue there's an 85% chance of survival to 5 years - coincidentally, the same as healthy 62 year old men in the UK. Note that here have been no studies of BC survival rates beyond 5 years but I know dozens of patients who have made it into galloping old age.
In the case of muscle-invasive bladder cancer, the other benefit of chemo is that is can destroy any cancer cells that may have escaped from the bladder wall via the bloodstream to other organs and lymph nodes. Sometimes chemo can reduce the tumour size if in a tricky location.
Inevitably, there is variation of opinion between oncologists. Even amongst my support group there are patients who had my grade and stage and did not have chemo and are doing very well years on.
I hope that helps to ease the confusion.
Hi Mocking bird , I never had any chemo or radiotherapy before mine . It was to be planned after if I needed it from the biopsy results but fortunately all good .
I note from one of your other posts that they've advised against for you, they do have to consider kidney function etc. If there's no evidence of spread, it could do more harm than good. They will reassess post RC depending on the path report & your general health. Chemo pre-op can also make recovery longer, so take their advice happily if you can.
As mine was not muscle invasive pre-op, it was not appropriate for me anyway. Then post op path report all clear (I was told about 25% are 'upstaged' at time of surgery) so I didn't need it at all.
A friend of mine started chemo but had kidney problems & discontinued.
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