Bladder cancer often recurs. Because of this, bladder cancer survivors often must undergo follow-up testing for years after successful treatment. What tests you'll undergo and how often will depend on your type of bladder cancer and your treatment, among other factors.
Ask your doctor to create a follow-up plan for you. In general, doctors recommend a test to examine the inside of your urethra and bladder (cystoscopy) every three to six months for the first few years after bladder cancer treatment. Then you may undergo cystoscopy every year. Your doctor may recommend other tests at various intervals as well.
People with aggressive cancers may undergo more frequent testing. Those with less aggressive cancers may undergo testing less often.
June 30, 2015
- What you need to know about bladder cancer. National Cancer Institute. http://www.cancer.gov/publications/patient-education/wyntk-bladder-cancer. Accessed May 4, 2015.
- Bladder cancer treatment (PDQ). National Cancer Institute. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/treatment/bladder/healthprofessional. Accessed May 4, 2015.
- Niederhuber JE, et al., eds. Bladder cancer. In: Abeloff's Clinical Oncology. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier; 2014. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed May 4, 2015.
- Bladder and other urothelial cancers screening (PDQ). National Cancer Institute. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/screening/bladder/healthprofessional. Accessed May 4, 2015.
- Bladder cancer. Fort Washington, Pa.: National Comprehensive Cancer Network. http://www.nccn.org/professionals/physician_gls/f_guidelines.asp. Accessed May 4, 2015.
- Guideline for the management of nonmuscle invasive bladder cancer (stages Ta, T1 and Tis): 2007 update. Linthicum, Md.: American Urological Association. http://www.auanet.org/content/guidelines-and-quality-care/clinical-guidelines.cfm?sub=bc. Accessed May 4, 2015.
- Wein AJ, et al., eds. Urothelial cancer. In: Campbell-Walsh Urology. 10th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2012. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed May 4, 2015.
- FDA drug safety communication: Update to ongoing safety review of Actos (pioglitazone) and increased risk of bladder cancer. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/ucm259150.htm. Accessed May 5, 2015.
- Knoedler J, et al. Organ-sparing surgery in urology: Partial cystectomy. Current Opinion Urology. 2015;25:111.
- Smith ND, et al. The RAZOR (randomized open vs. robotic cystectomy) trial: Study design and trial update. British Journal of Urology International. 2015;115:198.
- Cook AJ. Decision Support System. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Dec. 17, 2014.
- Castle EP (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Phoenix/Scottsdale, Ariz. June 11, 2015.