If you’ve been diagnosed with bladder cancer, we recommend getting a second opinion before selecting a course of treatment. It’s a valuable way to verify facts, like the stage and grade of the cancer, that are important to your decisions about treatment. Getting a second opinion may also give you access to new treatments or clinical studies that aren’t available at all centers. If you have received a bladder cancer diagnosis, a second opinion makes sense for the following reasons:
- Bladder cancer can be aggressive. If your cancer has invaded the muscle wall of the bladder, which is the case for over 60 percent of those diagnosed with bladder cancer, you need comprehensive, well-coordinated treatments and should choose a center that has experience in treating bladder cancer with surgery, chemotherapy, and especially radiation therapy. Even superficial cancers require surgery, and they may require further treatment to destroy all signs of cancer now and decrease the risk that your cancer will come back.
- There are state-of-the-art options for bladder cancer that not all doctors may know about. These include robot-assisted surgery to speed your recovery and advanced urinary reconstructions that help preserve your quality of life if you need your bladder removed. You may also be able to receive bladder-sparing treatment using chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
- Changing treatment regimens is not always easy or possible. Once you start a course of treatment, it’s sometimes hard to change to something else. So it’s important to get as much information as you can upfront about the options that are best for you.
Consider Coming to SCCA
Consider making an appointment at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA) with one of our many specialists who are all UW Medicine faculty members.
Comprehensive Multispecialty Approach
SCCA, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and UW Medicine form the only National Cancer Institute–designated comprehensive cancer center in the Northwest and one of only 14 in the western United States. At SCCA, you’ll have access to all the experts you need in one place: a world-class team of surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, radiologists, and pathologists who all specialize in bladder cancer and other genitourinary cancers. SCCA is the only place in the region where all of these specialists work together to cure bladder cancer. We even have a nurse coordinator who walks patients through their treatment here.
Advanced, Personalized Treatment Options
If you have superficial bladder cancer (cancer that is only in the lining of the bladder and hasn’t spread beyond the bladder), you may first need surgery and possibly chemotherapy, which you can receive at one of SCCA’s medical oncology clinics: the SCCA outpatient clinic on Lake Union; Halvorson Cancer Center, a partnership between SCCA and EvergreenHealth; or UW Medicine’s Northwest Hospital & Medical Center.
If you have invasive bladder cancer, you’ll be seen at the Bladder Cancer Multispecialty Clinic located at University of Washington Medical Center. At this clinic, you will benefit from specially coordinated, comprehensive care that incorporates important, specialized scheduling of many treatments needed for this disease: surgery, the latest chemotherapies, and radiation therapy, which is especially important to receive from a center that has extensive experience treating bladder cancer.
If yours is considered metastatic bladder cancer, you will receive dedicated team support to determine which course of treatment is right for you, including leading-edge therapies being explored in clinical studies for bladder cancer conducted here and at our founding organizations, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and UW Medicine.
Extensive Follow-up and Support
When you come to SCCA, you can expect the best standard of care available. We offer the most advanced diagnostic, treatment, and recovery programs—as well as extensive support to help you cope with your cancer.
And if you received your diagnosis through SCCA, don’t be afraid to ask your doctor about getting a second opinion. They’ll be more than happy to provide you with a list of recommended doctors.
To schedule a second opinion with an SCCA doctor, call (855) 557-0555.