Support for Bladder Cancer

NYU Langone physicians provide follow-up care for people after bladder cancer treatment. This includes regularly scheduled appointments, which involve urine and imaging tests to ensure that the cancer has not returned. For people who have an intact bladder, cystoscopy is an important part of follow-up care.

Your doctor formulates a plan to help you recover from surgery, chemotherapy, and other treatments for bladder cancer. Our team can help you develop a healthy lifestyle and adjust to any treatment-related changes in urinary or sexual function.

Nutrition

Our doctors encourage good nutrition to improve your overall health. Registered oncology dietitians at NYU Langone’s Perlmutter Cancer Center provide nutrition education and counseling.

Physical Rehabilitation

Doctors at NYU Langone’s Rusk Rehabilitation evaluate you and prescribe physical therapy. They can help you get out of the hospital bed and start moving soon after surgery. Our physicians can also prescribe medication for any postoperative pain and discomfort that may affect your mobility.

In addition, Rusk Rehabilitation specialists can prescribe an outpatient rehabilitation program of strength training and aerobic exercise to address weakness and fatigue caused by the cancer or treatment. Exercise also helps improve balance, flexibility, and mobility.

Psychological and Social Support

Support groups and one-on-one counseling sessions with a psycho-oncologist, who is trained to address the psychological needs of people with cancer, are available at Perlmutter Cancer Center. Counseling can often help alleviate anxiety or depression you may have during treatment, or any concerns about fertility.

Social workers are also available to help you address any financial matters that may arise during treatment.

Palliative Care

Our palliative care team provides treatment for any pain or discomfort that may occur as a result of bladder cancer or treatment.

Pain management may include the use of medications or integrative therapies. Our integrative health services include massage therapy, which can help reduce stress, and acupuncture, which may relieve pain and radiation-related fatigue.

Incontinence Rehabilitation

Sometimes people who are treated for bladder cancer experience problems with urine leakage, or urinary incontinence, regardless of whether their bladder was preserved or they received a new one.

Rusk Rehabilitation doctors evaluate you and provide incontinence rehabilitation. They can prescribe physical therapy to help you adapt to the changes in your urinary system and strengthen the muscles in and around the pelvis, providing better control of urination.

Stoma Management

Rusk Rehabilitation physicians and nurses help you adjust to managing a stoma, an opening in the abdomen that is sometimes created as part of bladder cancer surgery.

The stoma may be connected to a urostomy pouch, a device that collects urine on the outside of the body. Our healthcare team shows you how to manage this pouch, which needs to be emptied several times a day.

Alternatively, a catheter, or hollow tube, may need to be placed through the stoma to drain urine from a surgically created reservoir in the body. Our rehabilitation specialists can help you adjust to using a catheter, so you can return to your daily activities as quickly as possible.

Sexual Function

Radical cystectomy, the removal of the entire bladder, is sometimes necessary to treat bladder cancer, and sometimes involves removal of some reproductive organs.

In men, this may lead to erectile dysfunction, which is the inability to achieve an erection. NYU Langone doctors can help you to manage this condition by suggesting lifestyle changes and prescribing medications and other therapies.

Sexual function may also be affected in women, who may experience painful intercourse and problems with sex drive and arousal. The women’s health program at Rusk Rehabilitation can help address these issues through physical therapy, counseling, and other approaches.

Fertility Support

Bladder cancer treatments can disrupt fertility in men and women. Physicians at NYU Langone’s Fertility Center are available to help you explore your options for having children.

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