If you’ve been diagnosed with bladder cancer, we recommend getting a second opinion before selecting a course of treatment. Getting a second opinion is a valuable way to verify facts, like the stage and grade of the cancer, because these are important to your decisions about your treatment. A second opinion may give you access to new treatments or clinical trials that are available.
If you have received a bladder cancer diagnosis, a second opinion makes sense for the following reasons:
- Bladder cancer can be aggressive. If you have cancer that has not invaded into the bladder muscle, you may still need other treatments to decrease the risk that your cancer comes back. If your bladder cancer has invaded the muscle, you need to make sure you are considering aggressive treatments that can be life-saving.
- There are state-of-the-art options available for men and women with bladder cancer that not all doctors may know about. Some of these options include robotic surgery to speed your recovery, or advanced urinary reconstructions that help preserve your quality of life if you need to have your bladder removed.
- 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 find a urologic oncologist that you trust and a course of treatment that you are comfortable with. If you weren’t diagnosed at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA), consider making an appointment with one of our many specialists who are all University of Washington Medicine faculty members. SCCA is the only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center in the state of Washington and one of only 15 in the Western United States.
And if you received your diagnosis here at 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.