There are many treatments for bladder cancer, and most people will need more than one type of treatment. That means you'll need a treatment team of doctors and specialists. Key members of a treatment team for bladder cancer are usually:
- Urologist: This doctor treats diseases of the urinary system. A urologist will be the doctor who diagnoses your cancer and treats your cancer with surgery or with drugs placed into your bladder.
- Medical oncologist: This doctor treats cancer using drugs, commonly called chemotherapy.
- Radiation oncologist: This doctor treats cancer with cancer-killing X-rays, commonly called radiation therapy.
Other members of your team may include:
- Oncology and urology nurses: These nurses may help give medications or chemotherapy. They'll also help coordinate your care. They may help with education and counseling about your cancer, too.
- Nurse practitioners and physician assistants: These health care providers may do physical exams, give treatments, prescribe medications and help doctors manage your care.
- Patient navigator: From the beginning of your treatment to after treatment, this team member will help guide you through the process, including advice on financial and other support services.
- Dietitian: Maintaining a healthy diet is an important part of cancer treatment. This nutrition specialist will help you meet your dietary needs.
- Rehabilitation therapists: These health care providers will help you maintain the highest possible level of daily living and independence through your treatment and recovery.
Finally, don’t forget that a very important member of your team is you. Treatment works best when you take an active role. Learn as much as you can about your cancer and all your treatment options.