Follow-up for invasive and advanced bladder cancer

After treatment, you’ll have regular follow-up appointments. Your kidneys and ureters will be checked, and your doctor will look for any signs of the cancer returning (recurrence). You will also have scans to check for any sign of the cancer coming back.

If you’ve had a urinary diversion, you will have regular scans to check your kidneys are working well. You will also have blood tests.

If you’ve had radiotherapy, you will have regular cystoscopies. These will be every three months at first but this will lessen over time. You will continue to have them for at least five years.

If your urethra wasn’t removed during surgery, there is a small risk that the cancer could come back in this area. You will have regular tests each year to check the urethra (urethroscopies). This usually continues for five years.

Many people find that for a while they get anxious before appointments. This is natural. It may help to get support from family, friends or one of the organisations listed on our database during this time. If you have any problems, or notice any new symptoms in between check-ups, let your doctor know as soon as possible.

If the cancer comes back

If the cancer comes back, you can have further treatment. If it comes back after radiotherapy, you may need to have your bladder removed (cystectomy).

You may be offered chemotherapy.

If you have already had your bladder removed, chemotherapy or radiotherapy may be suggested.

Back to Beginning to recover

Lifestyle and well-being

Looking after yourself and doing some physical activity can be an important part of your recovery.