Treatment of Bladder Cancer
Patients who have taken the popular diabetes drug Actos may be at increased risk of developing bladder cancer, according to recent studies by the FDA, which has ordered doctors to avoid prescribing the drug to patients with a history of bladder cancer. For patients who develop the disease, there are a number of different approaches to the treatment of Actos bladder cancer.
Options for Treatment of Actos Bladder Cancer
There are four standard, medically sound methods of bladder cancer treatment. The first, chemotherapy, uses drugs to prevent the growth and spread of cancer cells. Similarly, the second method, radiation therapy, uses powerful X-rays to kill off cancer cells.
The third method is surgery, which may involve partial or complete removal of the bladder. Alternatively, a surgeon can remove the cancer through a cystoscope (a long, thin tube) inserted through the urethra, or reroute the path of urine through the body to avoid the cancerous bladder. Some patients who undergo surgery will also undergo chemotherapy to ensure that the cancer is completely eradicated.
The fourth method, biotherapy, uses a patient’s immune system to produce substances that strengthen the body’s defenses against cancer. All four methods have benefits and drawbacks, and new methods of bladder cancer treatment are currently being tested in clinical trials. Scientists are testing a process called chemoprevention, which uses drugs to prevent cancer from occurring or reoccurring. Another experimental method is photodynamic therapy, which combines chemicals that react to a certain laser light to kill cancerous cells.
Links Between Actos and Bladder Cancer
The FDA has not yet concluded that Actos is directly responsible for the development of bladder cancer, but studies indicate that the drug may cause bladder cancer in patients who take it for a long time and/or at high dosages. Many patients who are now undergoing treatment for bladder cancer have sued the drug’s manufacturers, Takeda Pharmaceuticals and Eli Lilly & Co., claiming that the drug caused them to develop bladder cancer. In France and Germany, regulators have pulled the drug from the market, and the FDA has ruled that the drug must be sold with a warning about its potential link to bladder cancer. Patients who suspect that they have developed cancer should talk with their doctor about Actos bladder cancer treatment.