Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) for Bladder Cancer
How It Works
It is not clear how Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) works to treat Reference bladder cancer Opens New Window. It may stimulate an immune response or cause inflammation of the bladder wall that destroys cancer cells within the bladder. BCG may be used to treat early-stage cancer, but it is used most commonly to prevent the return (recurrence) of noninvasive bladder cancer. It is most often used after cancer has been removed from the bladder using Reference transurethral resection (TUR) surgery.
BCG is also used in some countries as a vaccine to provide protection against Reference tuberculosis (TB) Opens New Window.
When it is used to treat bladder cancer, BCG is given through a Reference urinary catheter Opens New Window (intravesically) into the bladder.
- Limit your fluid intake for 4 hours before the procedure, so you will be able to hold the medicine in your bladder during the treatment.
- BCG is given through a urinary catheter. You will be asked not to urinate for 2 hours and to change position every 15 to 20 minutes so the medicine washes the entire bladder wall.
- For 6 hours after treatment, wash your genital area after every urination to avoid skin irritation.
- Treatment is usually given once a week for 6 weeks. After this, you may be treated again every month for 6 to 12 months or every 3 to 6 months over the next 2 years.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: May 2, 2011|
|Medical Review:||Reference E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Reference Christopher G. Wood, MD, FACS - Urology, Oncology