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Bladder Cancer

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Comprehensive Care Aimed at Preserving the Bladder

If you've been diagnosed with bladder cancer, you may be understandably concerned about whether or not you can keep your bladder and normal urinary function after treatment. At NewYork-Presbyterian Lawrence Hospital, our urologic oncology team aims to preserve your bladder whenever possible, while providing the most effective therapies. We have surgical expertise in complex bladder reconstruction when bladder preservation isn't appropriate. We offer comprehensive treatment for bladder cancer, including innovative immunotherapies aimed at destroying the tumor while preserving your quality of life as much as we can.

  • A Team Approach: Your NewYork-Presbyterian Lawrence team includes highly experienced urologic surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, radiologists, pathologists, nurses, psychosocial support professionals, and other specialists. Our team of specialists will customize your treatment based on the latest medical research.
  • Accurate Diagnosis: The first step in your treatment is an accurate diagnosis. Our NewYork-Presbyterian Lawrence pathologists are Columbia University Medical Center faculty and are readily available to make the diagnosis. They can also arrange testing for biomarkers and genomic analysis of specific features of your tumor, yielding information that can help your oncologist select targeted therapies for you
  • Experience Treating Superficial Bladder Cancer: We can directly treat some superficial (noninvasive) bladder cancer — the most common form of the disease — by administering anticancer agents directly into the bladder. With this "intravesical" therapy, we can closely monitor you to detect any recurrence as soon as it happens. Your team at NewYork-Presbyterian Lawrence includes urologic oncology faculty at Columbia University Medical Center who have done pioneering studies that have led to the discovery of new drugs to prevent such local recurrence.
  • Advanced, Collaborative Care for Invasive Bladder Cancer: Choosing the most effective treatment for patients with invasive bladder cancer — which can be very aggressive and has a high risk of spreading — is a complex and extraordinarily individualized process, and often requires a combination of treatments. Our team has a long track record of collaborating to treat patients with invasive bladder cancer. We offer our patients care tailored to their disease and, in many cases, we are able to preserve their bladders for some time — and in some instances, permanently.
  • Minimally Invasive Bladder Cancer Surgery: If you need a partial or radical cystectomy (surgery to remove part or all of your bladder), we have the expertise to perform this procedure in a minimally invasive manner — often using robotic surgery. Your doctor will speak with you about your treatment and surgical options.
  • Complex Bladder Reconstruction: Patients who have undergone a radical cystectomy need a new way to store and eliminate urine. Members of our surgical team are pioneers in bladder reconstruction techniques following radical cystectomy. To replace the bladder, we can create a "neobladder" (an internal bladder made from a portion of the intestine), or a "continent reservoir" (an internal bladder storage reservoir that can be drained by passing a small tube through an opening in the abdomen). We tailor bladder reconstruction surgery to the needs of each patient.
  • Bladder Cancer Chemotherapy and Immunotherapy:  In addition to intravesical therapies (immunotherapy or chemotherapy placed directly into the bladder) our urologic disease-focused medical oncologist may recommend intravenous therapies for bladder cancer. Our infusion team will support you throughout treatment in our modern and comfortable Infusion Center. Our team of scientists at Columbia University includes a nationally recognized investigator in cancer immunotherapy. This NYP Lawrence and Columbia collaboration increases your access to innovative studies designed to harness the power of your own immune system against cancer cells.
  • Supportive Care: We understand how a diagnosis of bladder cancer can affect your life and the lives of your loved ones. Your team includes other healthcare professionals you may need for the treatment of symptoms, as well as psychosocial support, rehabilitation, and nutrition during and after bladder cancer therapy.
  • Planning for Your Future: Cancer care does not end with treatment, so NewYork-Presbyterian Lawrence has established a Cancer Survivorship Clinical Program. Our survivorship team will serve as a bridge between your oncology and primary care teams by providing a survivorship care plan — a road map for your future health care. We also work closely with other NewYork-Presbyterian specialists in gynecology, cardiology, bone health, and rehabilitation and physical therapy to address your other medical needs. We offer a monthly support group for cancer survivors, with special programming and events throughout the year.
  • A Commitment to Research: Our doctors and laboratory scientists at Columbia University Medical Center are working together to study how bladder cancers grow and develop, with the aim of developing better therapies. Because of our collaboration with the National Cancer Institute-designated Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center at NewYork-Presbyterian Columbia, we may be able to connect you with a clinical trial of a promising new therapy, if you are eligible to participate.