Bladder irrigation

Most patients with bladder cancer have a superficial tumor that can be removed entirely with a TUR for bladder cancer. Some people will need additional treatment: bladder irrigation using a specific drug. This rinse lowers the risk of recurrence. There are several irrigation types. Your urologist or clinical nurse specialist can tell you which type of bladder irrigation is most suitable for you. The most common forms of bladder irrigation at the Netherlands Cancer Institute are: 

  • BCG treatment
    A BCG treatment is a type of irrigation using weakened tuberculosis bacteria. The procedure aims to activate the immune response of the bladder, which will lead to the destruction of malignant cells in the bladder. You and your urologist will decide on the total amount of sessions you will need to have together.  
  • Mitomycin C
    The drug Mitomycin is a chemotherapy drug that can be inserted directly into the bladder. The number of rinses and the schedule will depend on your personal situation. 
  • HIVEC (Hyperthermal Intravesical Chemotherapy)
    HIVEC is a bladder irrigation procedure using the heated chemotherapy drug Mitomycin C or Epirubicin. The chemotherapy drug is inserted into the bladder through a catheter and an irrigation system. The chemotherapy is heated up to 43°C which will improve its ability to enter the bladder cells.

Treatment for patients with superficial bladder cancer is usually effective, although the risk of recurrence remains. We will ask you to come in for regular follow-up screenings for a long time.

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