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Transitional cell/urothelial cancer

Posts: 4
Joined: Mar 2010

My wife had her right kidney, ureter, part of her bladder, and two lymph nodes removed on February 24, 2010. There was cancer in her kidney, ureter,and one lymph node. She was diagnosed with transitional cell/urothelial cancer (I assume these are different terms for the same disease) and the staging was T3,N1,M0 - stage III. Her urologist encouraged us to visit a medical oncologist, which we did. The oncologist at first said the standard course of treatment was observation, but when we told this to her urologist at a follow up appointment, he said that it's an aggressive cancer that has to be treated aggressively. The oncologist is now recommending a 4-cycle treatment of Cisplatin and Gemzar. As I understand it, each of the four cycles is a 6-hour IV treatment the first week, a 1.5-hour treatment the second week, the third week is off, and then it starts all over again. We have not visited a radiation oncologist yet, but I imagine we will soon. I've seen some postings about transitional cell/urothelial cancer, but couldn't seem to find any describing the treatment and outcome. Has anyone had experience with this treatment and would you share what you've learned? Thank you.

Posts: 1
Joined: Jul 2010

Hi there. I just signed on as a new cancer survivor and I saw your comment from March. I have the same thing your wife has but it was only a stage one. But I am only 49 years old too. For my age it is extremely rare. I was just reaching out to see how your wife was doing and to let her and you know that there are others out there just trying to get through the day. I am fortunate I didn't have to have chemo. However I worry that maybe I should have just to be sure. I have to have scans of the bladder every three months for the rest of my life, but that is ok. You got to do what you got to do.
Anyway, I hope this response finds both of you well and I look forward to talking to you further if that is what you want.
Thank you.

Posts: 4
Joined: Mar 2010

pamcam - my wife completing chemotherapy about 3 weeks ago (cisplatin and gemzar) and just had a chest X-ray and MRI a couple days ago. We'll get the results next week and hope for the best. She also gets scans of her bladder every 3 months. You're right that women of your age and my wife's should not be getting this type of cancer - it's supposed to affect older men who have worked and been around chemicals. Since this cancer is relatively rare, there isn't a lot of data to support the effectiveness of treatment options, but you should check the NCCN guidelines for bladder cancer to see what they recommend for someone in your position. Good luck.

Posts: 2
Joined: Sep 2010

My mom just had the same surgery as your wife Aug 30th at the Cleveland Clinic. The doctor said today that he did get all of the cancer however he is sending her to a oncologist to get treatment options. He did feel she should take the chemo and would have to be checked every three months. I do not have any details as to the stage of the cancer or anything. It was in her ureter and bladder though. I was just wondering how your wife was doing with the treatments. My mom is 63, non smoker, never worked outside of home. Very strange. Good Luck with your journey. My mom is a fighter and we will make it through this. Just nice to here other peoples stories.

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