Effects of Bladder Cancer Treatment

Cancer treatment is geared toward positive outcomes, such as removing the cancer, reducing tumor size and preventing recurrence. However, many of the treatments used to accomplish that have their own challenges for our bodies. Prior knowledge of what to expect helps in treatment decision-making and getting the support you need to deal with these effects.

Chemotherapy- induced side effects

  • Fatigue: The most common effect of cancer treatment, this fatigue is different than the kind healthy people experience. It can result from any type of cancer treatment.
  • High-frequency hearing loss and tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
  • Low blood counts: An increased risk of infection and anemia may require treatment to compensate.
  • Nausea and vomiting: These can be serious consequences of cancer treatment, but Siteman has considerable experience managing these so cancer therapy can continue, and you can live your normal life.
  • Peripheral neuropathy: Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) is a set of symptoms caused by damage to the nerves that control the sensation in our arms and legs, and may include pain, numbness and tingling.

Your doctor’s office should have information sheets on the most frequent side effects of your specific chemotherapy and will help you manage them.

Side effects from removal of the bladder

  • Sexual Dysfunction and urinary incontinence: Patients with radical cystectomies may experience these problems due to nerve damage. Our nerve-sparing approach to surgery allows small tumors to be removed without these effects in most cases.
  • Urgency, frequency, temporary blood in urine, slow return to bowel function: Work with your provider in managing these symptoms.
  • Increased amount of care: including, perhaps, self-catheterization.


Cardio-oncology is a new medical discipline focused on optimally treating any associated heart conditions in patients who have been treated for cancer, or are currently being treated for cancer. Specialized cardiologists can assess patients for the potential risk of developing certain heart conditions, especially if they are receiving particular types of cancer drugs, or following radiation treatment to the chest.

Learn more about the cardio-oncology program at Siteman