Patients facing a radical cystectomy after a diagnosis of bladder cancer can find themselves grappling with a diminished quality of life that threatens psychological and emotional well-being.
“Radical cystectomy impacts their ability to work,” said University of Florida Health urologic oncologist Paul Crispen, M.D. “It impacts their activity levels, sexual function and the way they eliminate urine from their body. This is a very morbid procedure that we only perform when absolutely indicated.”
It is with that patient in mind that the UF College of Medicine’s department of urology continues to develop new ways of treating this potentially life-threatening illness through bladder preservation.
UF Health physicians were among the pioneers in the field beginning in the 1980s under the leadership of Zev Wajsman, M.D., UF Health’s former chief of urologic oncology. Wajsman and his colleagues demonstrated that bladder preservation therapy is possible in select patients, especially when a multidisciplinary approach is taken.
“At UF Health, we’ve taken a particular interest in doing this in a multidisciplinary fashion with our urologists, medical oncologists and radiation oncologists,” said Crispen, an associate professor in the department of urology specializing in the surgical treatment of cancers of the bladder, kidney, prostate, testis and penis.
“We’re identifying newer therapies and patients who are able to undergo alternative therapies,” he added.
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