BCG: is a weakened bacterium that will stimulate your immune system to fight the cancer cells. These bacteria will not cause disease.
Interferon: a natural chemical made by your body which can now be artificially produced. When mixed with BCG it helps treat bladder cancer by stimulating your immune system and fighting the cancer cells.
Treatments are scheduled in blocks of 6-8 appointments approximately 1week apart. After the initial block of treatments , there is a rest period of approximately 4-6 weeks before a cystoscopy is performed to evaluate the status of your bladder. Depending on the results another course of treatments may scheduled or a shorter maintenance course of 3 treatments or once a month treatment may be arranged.
Day of the Treatment:
Avoid excessive coffee (1/2 cup is fine), decrease fluid intake before your treatment as you will be requested to hold your bladder for 2 hours after the procedure.
A small catheter will be inserted into your bladder. Your bladder will be drained and approximately 2 oz of medicine will be placed in your bladder, the catheter will then be removed.
Immediately after Treatment:
- You will be requested to hold your urine for 2 hours after yourtreatment.
- Taking a walk after your treatment is good to do because by walking your are moving the medication around in your bladder.
- If you can not take a walk, lying down and rolling side to side, back and front for 20 minutes each will spread the medication in your bladder.
- If you are receiving a bladder washing with BCG, pour 1/2 cup of bleach into the toilet bowl after your first voiding, wait 15 minutes then flush- this will dispel the BCG bacteria.
- You may leave the office as soon as the treatment is completed.
- You may experience mild flu like symptoms- aches, chills, low grade fever – these symptoms are very common and can be treated with Tylenol or Ibuprofen and may last 6-24 hours.
- You may experience blood in your urine for up to 24 hours, increase fluid intake and call the office if this occurs longer than 24 hours.
Rare Side Effect:
- High fever with shaking chills – If you experience these symptoms CALL THE OFFICE (508-771-9550) or if it is after 5pm go to the EMERGENCY ROOM.
If the side effects worsen with each successive appointment, please let us know as we may be able to adjust the medication dose or change the medication completely.
If you should develop a urinary tract infection (UTI) – burning, frequency, urgency or foul odor to your urine; or you can see blood in your urine CALL the office we may need to obtain a urine culture and possibly reschedule your appointment.
Educational material about instructions and information on bladder washes for bladder cancer