After treatment for bladder cancer
Bladder cancer may recur; for this reason, patients with bladder cancer should depend on follow-up tests for several years after successful treatment. Ask your doctor to arrange a follow-up program for you. Doctors usually recommend a test or examination of the urethra and bladder (cystoscopy) every three to six months for the first few years after treatment. After the patient has been monitored for several years and no sign of cancer recurrence is observed, the cystoscopic examination is performed once a year. Your doctor may recommend other tests at regular intervals. Patients with invasive cancers should have the tests performed at shorter intervals. If the cancer invasion is less, the interval between tests can be increased.
Cancer management and support for cancer patients
Living with the fear of recurrence of bladder cancer makes the patient feel as if he has no control over his future. Although there is no way to ensure that cancer does not return, there are several ways you can manage your stress. Gradually you will find your way, but until then you can try the following methods:
Visit the clinic at scheduled times for post-treatment tests. After your bladder cancer treatment is over, ask your doctor to tell you about your follow-up schedule. It is normal to be anxious before any follow-up cystoscopic examination, because you are afraid that cancer will come back or the examination will be uncomfortable. However, do not let this anxiety prevent you from following the exams. Try to find ways to manage stress. Write your thoughts and feelings in your diary, talk to your friends, or use relaxation techniques such as meditation.
Take care of yourself so that if cancer recurs, you are ready to fight it. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables and whole grains to have a balanced and healthy diet. Try to exercise for at least 30 minutes most days of the week. Get enough sleep so you do not wake up in the morning feeling bored.
Find bladder cancer survivors and talk to them about your common fears.
There are steps you can take to reduce your risk. For example:
Do not smoke Non-smoking means that the carcinogenic chemicals in cigarettes do not accumulate in the bladder.
Be careful with chemicals: If you work with chemicals, follow all safety instructions to avoid exposure to them.
Drink water throughout the day: Drinking fluids, especially water, can dilute toxins that may be concentrated in the urine and expel them faster from the bladder.
Eat fruits and vegetables: Choose a diet rich in a variety of fruits and vegetables.