Treatment for muscle invasive bladder cancer

Muscle invasive bladder cancer means that the cancer cells have spread into or through the muscle layer of the bladder wall. There are different treatments including chemotherapy, surgery and radiotherapy. 

The treatment is different to the treatment for non muscle invasive bladder cancer, where the cancer cells are only in the bladder’s inner lining.

Treatment options for muscle invasive bladder cancer

The main treatments for muscle invasive bladder cancer are surgery, chemotherapy or radiotherapy.

Surgery for muscle invasive bladder cancer

Surgery is one of the main treatments. The surgeon usually removes all your bladder and makes a new way for you to pass urine.

Radiotherapy for bladder cancer

Radiotherapy uses high energy x-rays to kill cancer cells. You might have it as your main treatment for bladder cancer.

Chemotherapy for bladder cancer

You might have chemotherapy before surgery or radiotherapy. This is called neoadjuvant chemotherapy.

Chemoradiotherapy for bladder cancer

Chemoradiotherapy means having chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment together. You might have this as one of your main treatments.

Immunotherapy for bladder cancer

There are different immunotherapy drugs for muscle invasive bladder cancer. These include nivolumab, avelumab and atezolizumab. 

Follow up after bladder cancer treatment

After treatment for muscle invasive bladder cancer, you have regular check ups. This is called follow up.

Treatment for metastatic bladder cancer

There are different treatments for metastatic bladder cancer. These include chemotherapy, immunotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery.

Last reviewed: 
06 Oct 2022
Next review due: 
06 Oct 2025