Bladder Cancer Treatment BCG
BCG is an immunotherapy drug used to treat some non-invasive bladder cancers. It is given at least two weeks after surgery. Your doctor or nurse will give the drug directly into your bladder (intravesical treatment).
You usually have BCG treatment once a week for six weeks, followed by a six-week break. If it is working well, you may have more treatment. Your doctor will explain what is best in your situation.
Your nurse or doctor will tell you how to prepare for treatment. Treatment takes up to three hours in the outpatient department but you can usually go home straight after.
Your nurse will talk to you about precautions to take after treatment. This is to protect other people as BCG is a live vaccine.
You may have some side effects from BCG treatment such as going to the toilet more often or having pain or blood when passing urine. These should settle in a day or two. Tell your doctor or nurse if they don’t get better or you have other symptoms such as fever, joint pains or a cough.
BCG is a type of immunotherapy drug used to treat some non-invasive bladder cancers. It is given directly into the bladder (intravesical). Most people know BCG as a vaccine used to prevent tuberculosis (TB). BCG may make the bladder react in a way that triggers the immune system to get rid of cancer cells.
BCG helps prevent the cancer from coming back in the bladder lining. It also reduces the risk of the cancer becoming invasive. Doctors usually advise it if you have high-risk bladder cancer or sometimes if you have an intermediate-risk bladder tumour.
After you’ve had surgery, there needs to be a gap of at least two weeks before you can have BCG treatment. This is to let the bladder heal after surgery.
You usually have BCG treatment once a week for six weeks.
This is followed by a six-week break. After the break you may have BCG once a week for one to three weeks. If the BCG is working well, you may be offered maintenance treatment.
Treatment times vary. Your doctor will explain what is best for you.
Recently there have been some difficulties with the availability of BCG. Your urology doctor or specialist nurse can explain if this is likely to affect your treatment.