Radiation Therapy

Bladder Cancer Radiation Therapy

Research has shown that bladder cancer patients have better outcomes if they receive care at centers like Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA) that treat large numbers of people with this disease, especially when it comes to radiation therapy.

Radiation therapy uses high-energy rays or subatomic particles to kill cancer cells. For bladder cancer, it requires the expertise of a radiation oncologist experienced with this disease. SCCA’s Kenneth J. Russell, MD, was one of the early investigators in the 1980s pioneering the use of radiation therapy as a bladder-sparing treatment for localized muscle-invasive bladder cancer.

Radiation therapy can be combined with chemotherapy as a bladder-sparing treatment for patients who cannot be or prefer not to be treated surgically. The duration and dose of radiation treatments are individualized for you based on your particular situation and goals. For invasive bladder cancer, treatment is given five days per week and for five to seven weeks.

For patients with metastatic bladder cancer, when cancer has spread to the bones, radiation therapy can relieve pain and prevent complications, such as bone fractures.