The bladder is a muscular, balloon-shaped sac that stores urine before it leaves the body. The wall of the bladder is made up of several layers of cells. Bladder cancer typically starts in the cells inside the bladder wall. Over time, the cancer may grow outside the bladder — spreading to nearby lymph nodes, or other parts of the body.
About 70 percent of bladder cancers are diagnosed during the early stages of the disease, according to the American Cancer Society. However, new cancers can form in other parts of the bladder. The bladder cancer programs at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center and NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center provide a full range of surgical and medical treatments to kill and prevent the spread of tumors.
Our Approach to Bladder Cancer Care
NewYork-Presbyterian is home to two of the nation's leading cancer centers — the National Cancer Institute–designated Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center of New York-Presbyterian/Columbia and the Weill Cornell Medicine Meyer Cancer Center in Partnership with NewYork-Presbyterian. Our multidisciplinary care teams of medical oncologists, urologists, radiation oncologists, surgeons, and pathologists work together to determine the best treatment approach for each patient by taking into account the type, location, and stage of the disease as well as the patient's age and physical health. At NewYork-Presbyterian, our patients have access to:
Advanced surgical treatments. Urologists and surgical oncologists at NewYork-Presbyterian perform traditional and robotic surgery to remove cancers. Invasive cancers are treated with cystectomy, in which the urinary bladder is removed, and a urinary diversion is put in its place. For men who require the entire bladder removed, the prostate and seminal vesicles are also removed. For women, the uterus, ovaries, and part of the vagina are removed. Your doctor will decide what the best surgical option for you is.
Immunotherapy and targeted therapy. In addition to chemotherapy and radiation therapy, NewYork-Presbyterian offers patients targeted cancer therapy and immunotherapy. Immunotherapy, which uses your own immune system to kill cancer cells, has been shown to shrink some bladder cancers with less toxicity than chemotherapy.
Next Generation Therapeutic Care through Research
In medicine, the ultimate goal is to help sick patients get better, faster, with fewer complications. Clinical trials — research studies that typically involve patients as volunteers — help providers reach that goal. At NewYork-Presbyterian, we work with research scientists and physicians at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons and Weill Cornell Medicine to identify research opportunities that could extend the lives of our patients and help us better understand, how to prevent certain cancers and develop more effective treatment methods. To learn more about current and upcoming clinical trials, visit our clinical trials page.
Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center Newyork-presbyterian/ Columbia
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