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Bladder Cancer


The procedure to remove the bladder is referred to as "radical cystectomy." The reason it is referred to as radical is because it implies removing the bladder, and any other adjacent structures where the bladder cancer may have spread. This includes surrounding lymph nodes, occasionally the urethra, the prostate in males, and a portion of the vagina (plus or minus the uterus) in females. Although this sounds like a lot, control of the cancer is of the utmost importance in bladder cancer, which can be deadly if not controlled properly at the time of initial diagnosis. Cystectomy in the 21 st century is a safe, effective procedure with many ways of dealing with the urinary system after bladder removal. Most patients opt for the creation for a new bladder using bowel once the bladder is removed, but other systems of draining the urine (a bag to the skin or new bladder hooked up to the skin that is catheterized to release urine) do exist.