Re: Who has had BCG treatments?
No, superficial doesn't mean none...it means that the cancer was on the very edge, if you will, of the bladder wall (inside)...those cells are called transitional cells, and superficial means the tumor was completely in the transitional cells and had not started penetrating the middle layer (called the lamina propria). Whether or not to treat with BCG when a bladder tumor is superficial (usually staged as Ta, or Ta1) often depends on whether or not it's grade is low or high. There are four grades, and grades I and II are considered low grade, with grades III and IV being considered high-grade. High grade bladder cancers tend not only to recur more frequently, but also to be more aggressive when they recur. On the other hand, low grade tumors don't recur as often, and are not as aggressive, so it's safe to follow someone with low-grade tumors by using cystoscopies for a couple of years. Usually they do them at 3-month intervals for the first year following surgery, then they space them out more (either going to 4-month intervals the second year and then 6 months, and then one year.) The point is that IF the tumor is low grade and IF it does recur, they'll be able to catch it in plenty of time.
Then, it might be treated with BCG even if it's low grade, simply because it recurred.
The higher grade Ta's are more often treated with BCG for the reasons I stated previously - they tend to recur more often and be more aggressive.
There is a slight risk with BCG of developing tuberculosis, which is why they don't routinely use it unless the risk of developing TB is less than the risk of not doing any further treatment.
Last edited by SamQKitty; 12-01-2012 at 08:17 PM.