Dr. Allen M. Chernoff, FACS Powered by ZocDoc Doctor Directory

Kidney Cancer

Kidney cancer develops most often in people over 40, but no one knows the exact causes of this disease. Research has shown that people with certain risk factors are more likely than others to develop kidney cancer.

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Bladder Cancer

Bladder cancer is the sixth most common cancer in the United States. Although progress has meant that survival rates are improving, instances of the disease have actually increased over past decades.

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Prostate Cancer

This year in the United States, almost 180,000 men will be told that they have prostate cancer. After such a diagnosis, a man and his family face several choices regarding treatment; making decisions involving many personal as well as medical factors.

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da Vinci®

The da Vinci® System provides breakthrough capabilities that allow surgeons to perform complex procedures with greater precision through tiny incisions.

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Transurethral Resection

Transurethral resection of the bladder (TURBT) is the usual treatment method for patients whose cancers are superficial (stage Ta to stage T1).

Often, additional therapies are administered to prevent tumor recurrence. Such therapies might include intravesical chemotherapy or intravesical immunotherapy. The term, “Intravesical” means “within the bladder”. These therapies involve the placement of therapeutic agents directly into the bladder. The agents are retained in the bladder for one to two hours and are then eliminated through urination.

Intravesical Chemotherapy

Often a single dose of a chemotherapeutic agent (mitomycin C) is placed in the bladder immediately after resection and kept in the bladder for approximately 1 hour. There are times however when more of the medication will be used with weekly instillations for 6 weeks.

Intravesical Immunotherapy

BCG is a weakened version of a live vaccine strain of bovine tuberculosis. It is currently viewed as the most effective agents for treating superficial bladder cancer, and is particularly effective in treating carcinoma in situ (CIS). BCG is administered as a weekly instillation for 6 weeks beginning approximately 1 month after initial tumor resection. Successful BCG therapy may be followed by a therapeutic maintenance schedule whereby patients receive scheduled BCG dosages over a 2-year period to further decrease the risk of cancer recurrence.

IFN is typically added to BCG in patients whose cancer either recurs or is not successfully treated with BCG.

Because superficial bladder cancer has a high rate of local recurrence with the possibility of progression, close monitoring after a TURBT is important. This follow-up includes routine cystoscopies and urine tests. As time passes without signs of recurrence, the length of time between office visits will widen.

There have been some studies showing the benefit of certain vitamins in reducing the risk of cancer recurrence. Although (as is common with such studies) some of the data is disputed, researchers have found no negative effect to taking these supplements; specifically Vitamin A, B6, C, E and Zinc.

My Take

Smoking cessation is absolutely the best thing you can do to decrease the risk of bladder cancer (as well as numerous other cancer and other health related issues). There are new drugs that can help you stop smoking. We will discuss this at the time of your visit.

Definition: (yoor-uh-LAHJ-ik on-KOL-o-jist) A doctor who specializes in treating cancers of the sexual and urinary system.