Proton Therapy for Bladder Cancer

Cancers Treated: Bladder Tumors

Bladder Cancer

Bladder cancer typically appears in the organ’s lining, where urine is stored. These cancers can grow into and through the bladder wall. The traditional treatment for bladder cancer is surgical removal of the bladder, but more recently, bladder preservation has been shown to help many patients with bladder cancers who can’t or don’t want to have their bladder removed. Bladder preservation consists of removing as much of the tumor as possible through a bladder scope, then several weeks of chemotherapy with radiation therapy. The goal is to cure and keep the bladder intact. Radiation can also be used for advanced bladder cancers, such as those that have spread beyond the bladder or into the lymph nodes.

Why proton therapy

Proton beams can deliver highly focused particles of radiation to tumors in the bladder, stopping where needed, thereby reducing the potential for damage to surrounding healthy tissue. Because there is no exit dose, proton therapy can reduce the total radiation amount given to the nearby rectum, normal bladder, and bone marrow – which is important for protecting the immune system and maintaining blood counts during chemotherapy and immunotherapy.

Bladder Cancer Facts

The American Cancer Society estimates more than 82,000 new bladder cancer cases in 2023, with nearly 17,000 deaths. Bladder cancer is the fourth most common cancer in men but is much less likely in women.

Smoking is a key risk factor for bladder cancer, with smokers at least 3 times as likely to develop bladder cancer as non-smokers. Bladder cancer has also been linked to industrial chemicals, certain medicines and herbal supplements, arsenic, and low consumption of daily fluids. People who have chronic bladder infections are also at higher risk.

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Learn More About Treatment of Bladder Cancer

Information from the National Cancer Institute

Treatment for bladder cancer includes surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, immunotherapy or targeted therapy. New treatments are also being tested in clinical trials.

Learn More: NCI