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Sat, Sep 14 11:55am · Bladder Cancer in Cancer

Hi, Stuart (@spooz2). A posting attributed to you last June 18 mentioned a radical cystectomy last October. That normally involves bladder removal, which may be a faulty assumption on my part. Perhaps we have more in common that I thought. If your bladder was not removed, a better question would have asked whether your urologist might visually examine your urinary tract with a cystoscope. Martin

Sat, Sep 14 11:11am · Bladder Cancer in Cancer

@spooz2, your experience Tuesday with hematuria has similarities to mine on a dozen occasions over the last few years — showing up without warning, sometimes producing small clots the size of a pea, sometimes recurring with urination for a couple of days, then just "switching off," as you said. When it first occurred about 8 years ago — 2 years after surgery to remove a dozen papillary tumors and excess prostate tissue from inside my bladder — my urologist reviewed his surgery notes as well as the first half-dozen cystoscopy exams of my bladder linings, residual prostate tissue, and urethra and found no graphic evidence of a source of blood. Finally, he noted that the blood in my urine was diluted quite a bit, not "frank" or thick as it emerged. At his suggestion, we agreed that the dilute blood — even accompanied by a small clot or two — probably had "leaked" from tissues in my bladder and that urgent emergency care could be avoided if the pinkish urine cleared up in a couple of days. So that's a normal part of my life since then (I had another incident just last week). Did your radical cystectomy leave you with an entirely different situation than mine, with my bladder still intact and functioning?

Sat, Aug 31 6:18pm · Have hematuria. Trying to find cause. in Kidney & Bladder

Hi, @fotula. Sorry to hear of your quandary about hematuria, and despite being of a different gender than you, I hope you'll take some comfort from knowing of my experience. Tissues in my urinary system were thinned mechanically — I had a large piece of my prostate removed — about 10 years ago. Twice a year since then I have experienced hematuria for a few days. It is more than microscopic, turning my urine to a light pink color and occasionally forming a blood clot. But all three of my urologists since then have agreed with me that no medication or surgery is needed because — as in your doctor's view — the remaining tissues have thinned allowing blood to leak through into my bladder. I had my annual bladder cystoscopy examination two weeks ago and got a clean bill of health from my urologist — no tumors or growths of any kind and satisfactory efficiency in urine removal. If you see some reassurance in my experience, that's good, and I hope your concerns about the hematuria will abate with the help of your urologist. Martin

Thu, Aug 29 11:15am · Side Effects of Plavix is there an Alternative in Heart & Blood Health

Hi, Sundance (@sundance6). Not to give you any advice, but to share my experience with Coumadin. When I was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation four years ago, my cardiologist (not my neurologist) prescribed Warfarin (Coumadin) in modest doses of 5-7.5mg daily. Almost 3 years later (June 2018) I suffered a "small stroke", probably from a blood clot that formed in my heart after an anomaly in the ability of the Coumadin to prevent clotting. A lab test showed a very low anticoagulation in my blood. However, that occurred only once since I started taking Coumadin and has not recurred since my stroke last year.

Note that Coumadin was prescribed for me in order to prevent a stroke, not after I already had one. That sounds more like advertising for Eliquis which suggests that it's good at preventing "another stroke." One reason my medical team and I have stayed with Coumadin is that an antidote is readily available, if needed when bleeding starts as a result of an accident of some sort. My pharmacist suggested that I switch to one of the other anticoagulants, but he could not guarantee that antidotes were regularly available for those other drugs, so we turned them down and I remain on Coumadin. Lab tests every two or three months reassure me that Warfarin is doing the job of avoiding clots forming in my heart.

Hope this information is useful to you and gives you some questions to pose for your medical team about your need for an anticoagulant medication — and which one. Martin

Tue, Aug 27 10:59am · Bladder Cancer in Cancer

Hi, @spooz2. Glad you're back with us after 10 weeks or so and that you came across this press release from a European research team. It claims good results for four patients with metastasizing bladder cancer by attacking a protein molecule that's pivotal in establishing new cancer cells that travel away from the bladder to other organs, near and far with the body. It's good to learn of your interest in metastatic cancer, assuming that your medical team's diagnosis of your case raises that possibility and that it is on the list of conditions that your therapy plan will confront. Perhaps they will consider this new therapy among those that would be promising in your case. If you can, keep us updated on what has evolved in your treatment over the past 10 weeks and what you're hoping to do next. Martin

Thu, Aug 22 10:22am · Anyone else have Anal cancer? in Colorectal Cancer

Hi @joan19. I'm weighing in as suggested by Kanaaz to give you another concerned member to rely on as you may wish in connection with your husband's impending cancer treatment. I'll emphasize right away that I have no personal experience with prostate cancer or rectal cancer, but some on-point experience with prostate surgery (to remove excess prostate tissue) and superficial bladder cancer uncovered when the prostate tissue was removed. Over the last several years, my urologists and I have examined my bladder, prostate, and urethra regularly and found no evidence of cancer. However, we always have a short discussion about whether rectal tumors are growing and pressuring my urinary organs in a way that forces me to urinate more often than usual. Part of that involves examination of the inside of my rectum in search of any tumors. Glad to say none has been noticed so far.

From all of this, though, I have a pretty good picture and understanding of how one might become concerned about radiation effects in this tightly packed area near the anus. Like you, I would want to have a full explanation of what an examination has found and what additional findings might mean — especially in terms of selecting the method of surgery for attacking your husband's anal tumor. The factors involved are multiple, and I'm not able to advise you about what course to take — except to say that your husband's medical team is probably the only source of information about this unique challenge. You should try to satisfy yourself — through discussions with them — that they can be relied upon to do the best for your husband — as well as the least necessary. Martin

Fri, Aug 9 9:05am · BCG For Bladder Cancer in Cancer

A clarification is in order on BCG after hearing from @mayobruce and @spooz2. It was my understanding from the beginning after my bladder cancer was detected that BCG is a treatment aimed at killing cancer seeds that crop up on the lining of the bladder. It is not expected to delve deeper into the tissue and attack cancers that have begun their journey toward or into bladder muscle tissue, as I understand it. Recommendations against second or more BCG treatments are, in fact, a strong endorsement of its effectiveness in treating superficial tumors on the bladder lining. As good as it is for this, if it didn't fix the malignancies with a six-time series of treatments, the infection is almost certainly deeper and in need of a more strenuous therapy, so don't waste time trying it again. My positive BCG experience was conclusive evidence that my tumors were in their initial superficial stage, and my annual cystoscope examination earlier this week was clear years after my superficial cancers were discovered. Pleased as I am about my good fortune, I am sad to hear that BCG failed to fix your bladder and hope that, knowing that, your medical team will follow your instructions to take the next reasonable step to eliminate any malignancies that remain.

Wed, Aug 7 10:47am · BCG For Bladder Cancer in Cancer

@parus, don't be disturbed about the prospect of having body parts removed. The BCG therapy doesn't go there. It involves putting a solution into the bladder, allowing it to remain for a period of time (minutes), then excreting it into a urinal or urine bag or pan. The solution includes modified bacteria that can kill superficial tumor cells on the lining of the bladder. It's been nearly 10 years since I was diagnosed with tumors in my bladder. They were removed in a TURP operation (TransUrethral Resection of Prostate tissue — one in a hospital surgical suite, the other in a walk-in surgical center. About two weeks later I began the six-time BCG therapy. No pain or disability from any of the treatments. Just yesterday I had my annual cystoscope examination of my bladder lining; all is well, and I won't have another look for another year. We give a strong measure of the credit to the BCG treatments which seem to have prevented the outgrowth of new tumors. Martin