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A diagnosis of bladder cancer can be overwhelming. This fact sheet will tell you:

  • How to prepare for your appointments
  • What the impact of your diet may have on your cancer
  • What questions will help you learn more about your diagnosis
  • What impacts on fertility and urination might be

The Importance of Communicating With Your Health Care Team

Your team of doctors, nurses and social workers are there to help. Here are some tips for your appointments.

  • Bring a list of questions. This will help you remember important things to ask. Write down or record the responses so that you do not forget them.

  • Consider bringing a loved one with you. A friend or a family member can help ask questions and provide emotional support.

  • Ask questions about costs. Knowing how much your treatment and medications might cost can help you plan ahead and focus more attention on getting better.

If your doctors and nurses do not know every answer, they may be able to guide you to those who do.

How Does What I Eat Affect My Cancer?

Healthy diets are often recommended for people with bladder cancer. Your doctor can help direct your to better nutrition. They can also help give correct information about eating. For example, eating sugar does not cause bladder cancer to grow. Treatment can sometimes affect your sense of taste or give you diarrhea. Flavors such as lemon or lime can help the taste, and more fiber can firm your waste product.

Questions That You May Want to Ask Your Health Care Team

The following questions should help you learn key information about your diagnosis and situation.

“What type of bladder cancer do I have?”

The main type of bladder cancer is urothelial carcinoma, also known as transitional cell carcinoma, but there are types that are not as common.

“What stage is my bladder cancer?”

A cancer’s stage means its size and how much it has spread in the body. The higher the number (I, II, III or IV), the more it has spread.

“What are my treatment options?”

There are many kinds of treatments for bladder cancer. These can include surgery, radiation, targeted treatment and chemotherapy.

Impacts on Fertility and Urination

Bladder cancer and its treatment can have an effect on fertility. This is an important issue for many people. Your doctor can help with any questions.

Bladder cancer can also affect your feelings as you urinate, such as giving you a burning sensation. You may need to urinate more often, or when your bladder is not full.

View all of CancerCare’s resources to help you better cope with bladder cancer »

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Last updated Wednesday, June 21, 2023

The information presented in this publication is provided for your general information only. It is not intended as medical advice and should not be relied upon as a substitute for consultations with qualified health professionals who are aware of your specific situation. We encourage you to take information and questions back to your individual health care provider as a way of creating a dialogue and partnership about your cancer and your treatment.

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