So sorry to hear your news. I can understand that you have a LOT of questions. Just a hint....if you don't get an answer from the doc's office (any doc) in about 24 hours, call back!!
First, to try to answer some of your questions. A CT-urogram is simply
a CT scan of the urinary tract done twice....once without contrast medium and once with it. There should be no side effects whatsoever!
The "surgery" is called a TURB. This means "transurethral resection of the bladder." Basically, it is exactly like the cystoscopy that you have already had, except that it is done under general anesthesia because she will be taking out as much of the tumor tissue as she can and also taking samples of the tumor and other places in the bladder lining to send to the pathologist for analysis. After the TURB, the urologist may have a pretty good idea of what the diagnosis is, but it won't be for sure until the report comes back from the pathologist and this can take up to a week. The urologist may do a wash of the bladder after the TURB with mitomycin, a chemtherapeutic agent, but it is NOT chemotherapy and you should have no side effects from this at all.
As for side effects from the TURB, many of us have none. Sometimes, there may be bleeding afterward from the tumor or other biopsy sites as well as s some discomfort. Also, particularly in males, a catheter is sometimes necessary for about 24 hours. As I said, most of us do not have any side effects.
You will be seeing the urologist a LOT in the future, so if you do not feel comfortable with her, the time to make a change would probably be as soon as you have the results of the TURB. You might want to sit down with her and discuss your thoughts and feelings....she sees so many cases that she may forget that for most of us CANCER is a scary word.
What happens after the TURB results are in will, of course, depend on the diagnosis. IF it is a low grade tumor with no signs of extension beyond the bladder lining, the recommendation would most like be just cystoscopy exams every three months. IF it is high grade, the recommendation would probably be BCG therapy. IF the diagnosis is something other than these, the treatment will vary.
Please remember that, when caught early, bladder cancer is VERY treatable. It is scary, I know, but the more you know that less scary it becomes.
We will all be keeping our fingers crossed for you
Diagnosis 2-08 Small papillary TCC; CIS
BCG; BCG maintenance
Vice-President, American Bladder Cancer Society
Hello everyone! So thankful to have found this forum. I have not been definitively diagnosed as yet. I went to ER about 2 weeks ago because of first time right lower quadrant pain that did not go away. ER doctor suspected appendicitis or stone and ordered CT without contrast which showed a 4.4 x 3.8 cm mass arising from and protruding into the lumen of the bladder. It also showed multiple vague, low-attenuation lesions scattered within the liver which could not be accurately characterized due to noncontrast exam. I was referred to a urologist who did a cystoscopy in her office and I was able to see the mass myself on the screen. I am very concerned because of the size of the mass and, of course, the liver lesions. The doctor started talking so fast after the procedure in her office and frankly, I had to pee so badly I did not really hear much of what she had to say. She did say she was fairly certain it was a TCC and would have to come out. She said she may instill a chemo drug at the time of surgery. I am scheduled for a CT urogram tomorrow. The surgery itself is scheduled for 9/20/16. I am told it is an outpatient procedure and I should be home in about 4 hours. I have called the doctor's office and asked many questions of the doctor's assistant and was told either she (the assistant) or the doctor would call me back or the doctor may want me to come in for an office visit which I am more than willing to do. It has been 5 days in all (3 work days) since I called and still have heard nothing from either of them. Needless to say, I am not impressed. I would be interested to know of side effects from both the urogram and the surgery itself. The doctor and her assistant both seem as though this is no big deal, but given the tentative diagnosis, it is a very big deal to me. Thank you for taking the time to read this. Any comments would be very much appreciated.