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IMPORTANT: The Bladder Cancer Canada discussion forum is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment. The opinions & contents in this forum is for information only and is not reviewed by medical professionals. They are experiences & opinions of patient members like you, and is NOT intended to represent the best or only approach to a situation. Always consult your physician and do not rely solely on the information in this site when making decisions about your health.

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  • #8514

    Hi There
    2 months ago my girlfriend had a bad UTI. No pain with urination. No macroscopic hematura but microscopic hematura that was expected to be seen with a UTI. An ultrasound was ordered to view kidneys and a bladder mass was found incidentally. A Ct scan later confirmed this. She was referred to Dr Alan So here in Vancouver BC. He ordered a TURBT and he was successful in removing most of the tumor. She also had a Ct scan of the chest. We don’t know the results yet but Dr. So has referred her to an Oncologist at the BC Cancer agency. We find results in couple of days from the Oncologist. Does the fact that she was referred to an Oncologist mean it’s a more aggressive cancer like muscle-invasive bladder cancer and that’s why the referral?

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!


    Sorry to hear that your girlfriend has BC. This is a good place to get info. There is quite a lot in the “Facing Bladder Cancer” section on this website. I’m sure you and your girlfriend will have more questions as you work your way through this.

    The best thing would be to ask Dr So or the oncologist, rather than have one of us second guess him. The pathology report is likely available, if he is making a referral. You can get a copy of the report either from him or through the hospital.

    Jack Moon

    SJay has given you very good advice. Difficult for us to comment without knowing the information in the pathology report.
    Wishing you both all the best,


    Thank You for the input!

    What’s odd is Dr. So told her even before doing a TURBT, that if the pathology showed Cancer that she would be referred to an Oncologist. He said this while doing a Cystoscopy. Most of the post here don’t mention seeing an Oncologist with treatment. Was he suspicious that what he was seeing was aggressive and needed attention from an Oncologist? Or are we over thinking things?



    Hi Cjames3:

    Welcome to Bladder Cancer Canada but sorry that you and your girlfriend have need of us. As already mentioned it is hard for anyone including us to know why her urologist would be referring her to an oncologist without knowing the pathology results. It is best to ask him any questions with regards to how her treatment journey will be going forward.

    An explanation from him of any pathology reports will clear a lot of the mystery up for the both of you. The pathology report will give the stage and grade of the bladder cancer and that is what determines the treatment protocol going forward. Treatment protocols and who is consulted do sometimes vary a bit between specialists but they have good reasons for this.

    I suggest three things:

    1) As previously mentioned read the patient booklets available on this site to give you a general understanding of what is involved with bladder cancer.

    2) Make a list of any questions you have, what you don’t understand. Start a journal to keep track of tests, appointments, questions etc.

    3) Contact the urologist’s office for an appointment to go through everything including the diagnosis, and bring a trusted family member or friend with you as an extra set of eyes and ears. They may think of other things to ask and may hear things that you and your girlfriend miss. This will be the time to ask what will be happening going forward including how the oncologist will be involved.

    As you will have read, most of us, patients and caregivers alike will describe this journey as an emotional roller coaster. It is normal to be mixed up, afraid, angry, depressed, you name it. It is a big shock to get a diagnosis like this.

    Lastly, don’t hesitate to post questions here as things go along. We are here for you. Take care and let us know how it goes. (((((HUGS)))))

    Tom M

    Hi Cjames3,

    I may be too late in helping to answer your question about “over thinking” but I can guarantee that, if you both are normal people, you are definitely over thinking. We all have done it.

    The advice you have received is totally correct. The pathology report which outlines the grade and stage of tumors is the Bible which adresses your concerns and is the basis for a plan of action.

    I notice from Dr. Alan Ho’s bio on the Vancouver Prostate Centre that he is a leader in researching new methods and agents for treating bladder cancer. His mentioning an oncology referral way back at the cystoscopy stage before having pathology reports is likely connected to his development of new procedures. Ask him.

    It sounds like your partner was diagnosed at an early stage if the surgeon was satisfied he removed most of the bad cells with the TURBT. The prognosis for those with bladder cancer is generally really good. My family doctor told me when I was diagnosed 6 years ago that “Nobody wants to have cancer but bladder cancer is one of the best ones to have”.

    Depending on grading and staging, hopefully the road to “all clear” won’t be too bumpy. Whatever the plan and treatment program, know that there are lots of us who have been there and we are here for both of you if you have concerns or questions. Final bit of advice: take it as it comes and don’t over think.

    With support,


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