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I've Just Been Told I Have Bladder Cancer

Middle-aged man reading information on a computer screen

There are very few things scarier than being told you have cancer. You may feel like you're in shock. You may not even want to believe what the doctor has told you. And there are probably so many questions you want to ask, but think you can't because you don't know where to start.

First of all, it's OK to be overwhelmed. And it's OK to feel afraid. But you shouldn't let those feelings stop you from finding out as much as you can about your cancer and about the options you have. Because the more you know, the less helpless and afraid you will feel. And the more you know, the better you will be able to work with your health team to make the best choices for your treatment.

To decide the best course of treatment, your doctor needs to know as much as possible about your cancer. This will involve getting a variety of tests and working with more than one health care professional.

For example, your health care team will likely include a doctor who specializes in cancer, called a medical oncologist, and an oncology nurse. Depending on your cancer and the types of treatments you need, you may also see a bladder specialist, called a urologist. You may also see other cancer specialists, such as a radiation oncologist or, if you are a woman, a gynecological oncologist. The team will answer all your questions and guide you through each of the steps that you'll take before, during, and after treatment. Your team will let you know what tests are being done and what the results mean. They'll help you in making treatment decisions.

Treatment for bladder cancer usually begins a few weeks after you've been diagnosed. You'll have time to talk with your doctor about treatment choices or get a second opinion. You'll also have time to prepare yourself and your loved ones for the days to come.

This information is presented to help you start learning the things you need to know to be able to face your cancer experience with confidence. And the best way to start is to learn more about bladder cancer and your diagnosis. People with bladder cancer now have more treatment choices and more hope for survival than ever before. Doctors keep finding new treatments for bladder cancer and ways to help people with bladder cancer have better lives.


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