Is BC Curable?

Is BC curable or is this something that will keep coming back? All I read is more treatment and re-occurance. Is there anyone who has stayed clear for more than three to five years or longer?

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Bladder Cancer is curable. It is true that it has one of the highest recurrence rates of all of the cancers, but it is curable. There are many people on the board that have been clear for years and years, before it came back and there are some that still haven't had a recurrence.

My husband was diagnosed with BC in 2001, had BCG and it didn't come back until 2009.

Others will chime in soon. How is your treatment going?

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Welcome to inspire,

It is curable, my husband has 3 years and counting under his belt,,many here with more than that.
Thing is its all about getting diagnosed, quickly and move forward with treatment.
There are different diagnoses with B/C. Non invasive and invasive. The ones who have reocurrences wih non invasive are going through a chemo treatment to wah the tumors away, sort a speak. invasive have their bladder removed like my husband, if not outside the bladder you are 80 percent free for any re-occurrence, at least in his case. So many circumstances, so many treatments, every individual a path that is exclusively theres.



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I was diagnosed stage iv, had rc, neo surgery and chemo and have been clear for over three years. That should make you feel better. My oncologist says it is curable and believes I'm at the 90 percent cured stage; I hope he's right.


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Depends on what you mean by cureable. We do have members here who have remained free of tumors in their bladders for years after a series of treatments. Those who have had success with BCG will let you know their timeline.
But, most of us do have recurrent tumors which require us to be vigilant. This is why this cancer is the most expensive to treat, because we must continue to have regular checks to find those tumors as they appear, and also to watch that they are not becoming invasive.
Those of us who have had radical cystectomy because our cancer was invasive, and have been cancer free since, believe we are cured. Although, we must continue to have yearly checkups too. Many of us are past the 5 years mark.

If you are asking, can a person have one episode of bladder cancer and be cured by just having the tumor/s removed? Not likely.
So, given that this cancer doesn't play nice with us, we all must determine how we are going to do battle.
Ask for your pathology reports, so that you know what your are dealing with. Get 2nd opinions to make sure of your diagnosis. Then, with all of us sharing our experiences , combined with your own advocacy, you will be prepared to take the steps that are right for you.

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Depends on the cancer type, location and pathology report but many are manageable, Even those that are cured, have to be followed for the rest of your life to insure no recurrence. So yes, it can be cure, but no you will not get to stop having rechecks. you are in good company, we are all on a path of vigilence.


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When my Oncologist talked of 'cure' I was shocked. Pleasantly shocked but shocked non the less. I had thought the words 'cancer' and 'death sentence' were synonymous.

My journey is a newer one than some on here and I LOVE reading about their victories , all clear test results and YEARS without cancer.

I believe that ( for me ) one of the most helpful things this site has to offer is hope.

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I just passed my 5 year diagnosis mark and am doing very well. Personally I know survivors of up to 17 years and I am sure there are some even longer. There are many variables with this cancer. It is best to get treatment at a major center from a uro that deals with bladder cancer everyday. You must be your own advocate. Knowledge is power so keep learning all you can,


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I am never sure of how to tell people about bladder cancer because there is so little information out there and most folks don't know anything about it.. Do I say I had bladder cancer or do I say I have bladder cancer? Usually I say I had BC but also talk about the frequent reoccurance of tumors and the constant monitoring we need to do. I look at BC as a chronic disease something that I will be dealing with for the rest of my life.

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I asked my doctor the same thing yesterday. Well, not EXACTLY the same thing. As I recall my words were "Does anyone ever beat this?" Then I demanded to know if BCG really worked. I believe I even asked for statistics about that.

He assured me that some people DO become cancer free for extended periods of time. That really wasn't what I wanted to hear. Extended periods of time could be 1 years or 3 years or 5 years... but I want to know if anyone STOPS NEEDING TREATMENT for the duration of their lives (other than checkups).

As for the BCG, he says that many people get positive results with it. I pushed for a definition of 'positive results.' As near as I can tell, this, too, means 'cancer free for extended periods of time,' in this case meaning longer than without BCG. So I'm guessing that if I can't go more than 6-8 months without recurrance before BCG, success with BCG might mean 12 months or more (?) between recurrances.

I honestly don't know the answer to your question. So I'm with you, Burndog. IS BC CURABLE???

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My diagnosis was TaG3, and I don't expect to be "cured" of BC. Instead, I'll take BCG and have cystos for, hopefully, many years to come. The intervals between treatments and doctor visits will expand and contract depending on what they find, but I think of it as a chronic condition that has to be managed.

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Thanks for the question and all the answers. I also have asked myself if the bladder cancer is cured. Fodder that no, is not cured… I believe that he is very treatable, that is to say, the treatments maintain to controlled cancer, and at the most time happens without better cancer, but the reality is that it returns time and time again. I believe that podria to be spoken of treatment if it never returned. It is an opinion… My better desires for all

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I think that bladder cancer is definitely curable. As far as is it cured in a specific patient with a specific treatment, the answer is more cloudy. Those who have had cancer in the bladder, treated by radical cystectomy and are at least 3-5 years out without recurrence or metastasis are considered cured. This unfortunately for most of us in that boat does not mean that we are not at a slightly higher risk for a new urothelial tumor elsewhere (kidneys, urethra, ureters) so we continue to be proactive in watching for signs and symptoms and following whatever protocol that our urologist favors. Treatment with BCG for high grade T1 and below has a fairly high percentage of patients that have recurrences and of those some ultimately will need more definitive treatment. I don't think anyone knows for sure who falls into which group, but certainly some live on to die of something else and at the time of their death they do not have bladder cancer. I don't know if I should consider that a cure or just good management of a chronic disease. I should have added above that anyone with a urothelial tumor anywhere in the urinary tract is at higher risk for another "new" urothelial tumor regardless of the type of treatment or outcome of that treatment. I believe you will find many folks here who either have been free of bc for years following non radical treatment and many who are free of bc following radical treatment.


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Well, I pretty much chime in with the rest of everyone. I think it is a condition that can be managed and held at bay for a long, long time such as many other diseases. Our urologist told us about the BC being the most expensive to treat and I was actually shocked because my husband is CURED from colon cancer 10 years earlier that I thought was very, very costly to treat. So I cocked my eyebrow and look at uro who smiled at me and said that BC is the most costly cancer to treat because A) it likes to keep coming back and B) patients treated and vigilant can live a long, long time!!!!! That can live a long, long, time was the sweetest music to my ears especially after having dealt with stage III colon cancer were long term survival let alone cure (statistically) were not in Bert's favor. So again, to me, I believe it is a managable cancer with good treatments and possible cure!

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Rob is 5 weeks out from his RC. The first time he was diagnosed in December of 07 the uro said it always comes back. That is the reason for the every 3 month cystos he had through July 2010. At that time it had changed from stage 0-1 papillary non-invasive to stage 2 high grade invasive. The first surgeon we saw said with an RC his chances would be 50/50 of 5 year survival. Then we found out about pre-surgery chemo which upped the survival odds at least 5%. 6 weeks after the last chemo he had an RC. Pathology report showed 35 lymph nodes were removed and dissected . . .all clear! The surgeon said now his chances of recurrence are about 15%. Also, he said, if Rob keeps up w/3 month rechecks w/CT scan and blood work, if it does come back it will be manageable.
This is what we were told. Hope it is helpful.

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I am thinking about the post a while back saying that 30% of BC patients eventually have RC, 30% die, and 30% will have periodic recurrences with possible progression. If I do remember that post correctly, then in my opinion, only 10% are "cured." The other 90% live with a chronic condition whether it is an cancer-free RC but dealing with other issues (some major, some minor) or recurrences. Right now, I have gone about 18 months after an initial TURBT (TaGrade3) on BCG maintenance but there is a horrible underlying worry that it will come back. I don't feel "cured" but feel " grateful though chronic."

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I had stage 1 non-invasive tumor removed through TURB in fall of 2006. First reoccurance of superficial tumor 2 years later. Six months later another stage 1 non-invasive tumor removed through TURB again. Since then, I've had 18 BCG's and in April if cysto is all clear, I will pass the 2 year cancer free time period for the first time. Yes, I believe it is a chronic disease, one that I will deal with for the rest of my life, but I tolerate the BCG fairly well, and if that is what it takes to live a more normal and lengthy life, then so be it. I love fighting this demon and every six months get to say that I am kicking it's arse.

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Bladder cancer has the highest reoccurence rate out of all cancers. That being said, I would say there is a lot of different things that are involved and every case is different therefore the chance of it being 'cureable' depends on: when did patient go to dr., how early was it caught, what type of cancer is involved, did you get care immediately, was chemo given, was bladder removed, did you go to a major cancer hospital, did you continue with your follow up care, did you do your own research, did you educate yourself, did you ask questions, are you positive, are you taking care nutritionally. The list could go on. I don't know the statistics but do know a lot is involved and the only thing one can do is do the best for your situation, know that you did the best and hope for the best outcome. The team we work with at our hospital always says, we don't talk statistics & what if's, we work on curing.

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Statistics are only numbers, you are just guessing at which area you will fall into. Pay no attention to them.
I was diagnosed with CIS in 1995. Many TURBs and BCG treatments, with 2 "all clears" until May 2003 when I had a RC and neobladder. I have been cancer free since my RC, 8 years this coming May.

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I have remained cancer free for 16 years after my partial cystectomy at age 40. I did not have BCG, chemo, radiation, further surgery or other post-op treatment of any type. So yes, in my opinion it is curable though bladder cancer does have a high recurrence rate in comparison to other cancers.

It has been pointed out before that most people who are many years past their illness are not seeking out a support group like this. I believe there is a lot of truth to that so there are more long term survivors out there than you will find here!

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That's true 16yearsurvivor. My doctor mentioned that too. He says that often people who are cured stop coming to websites and support groups, and move on with their lives. So yes, it's quite possible that there are more happily cured people than it might seem.

I certainly hope so.

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