Information for patients
This leaflet can be made available in other formats including large print, CD and Braille and in languages other than English, upon request.
Your Doctor has advised the use of Intravesical Chemotherapy as part of your treatment.
This leaflet tells you about Intravesical Chemotherapy.
What is Intravesical Chemotherapy?
This is a drug that is put into your bladder to treat superficial (surface) cancer of the bladder. This means there have been cancer cells growing on the inner lining of your bladder.
Giving the drug directly into your bladder may help to stop the cancer from returning. It is given either as a single dose or as a 6-week course, consisting of 1 treatment per week, according to the individual patient’s needs.
How is the treatment given?
The chemotherapy drug is put into your bladder through a catheter (small tube), which is inserted through your urethra (the tube you pass urine through). The drug is mixed with a small amount of fluid before being put into your bladder, through the catheter. Once it is in the bladder, the catheter will be removed.
You will be asked to try to keep the drug in your bladder for 1 hour. You may lay for 15 minutes and then you can walk around or sit as you want.
Are there any special instructions?
Before your treatment
- If you normally take diuretics (water tablets), you should not take them until after your treatment.
- It is advisable not to have anything to drink 1 hour before your appointment. This is to stop the drug being diluted by urine in your bladder and should also make it easier for you to hold fluid.
After your treatment
- You should drink at least 1.5 to 2 litres (3 to 4 pints) of liquid each day for 2 days; then return to your normal drinking pattern.
- Use a condom if you have sexual intercourse within 48 hours of having the treatment. Women who are having the treatment must ask their partner to use a condom.
- Males should sit when passing urine, to prevent spillage.
- Hands should be washed thoroughly after urinating.
Are there any side effects?
The drug is mainly contained in your bladder and does not get into your blood system. This means any side effects are usually mild.
You may notice:
- The need to pass urine more frequently
- Blood in your urine
- General tiredness
- A red itchy rash on any part of your body. If this happens, you should tell your nurse before your next treatment.
If any of these symptoms continue or become severe, please contact your GP.
If you need further advice or have any questions or problems, please contact the department where your treatment was given:
University Hospital of North Tees
Surgical Decisions Unit
24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Telephone: 01642 624566
Telephone: 01642 383801
Opening hours: 8:00am to 4:00pm (Monday to Friday)
If you have any worries or concerns, you should contact your GP during normal surgery hours. Outside of surgery hours, you should contact your GP’s surgery for the Out of Hours Service number.
Further information is available from:
Cancer Help UK
Institute for Cancer Studies, The University of Birmingham
Edgbaston, BirminghamCancer Help Website
Macmillan Cancer Support
89 Albert Embankment
Telephone: 0808 808 0000Macmillan Website
Telephone: 111 (when it is less urgent than 999).
Calls to this number are free from landlines and mobile phones or via the website.NHS Website
Comments, concerns, compliments or complaints
Patient Experience Team (PET)
We are continually trying to improve the services we provide. We want to know what we’re doing well or if there’s anything which we can improve, that’s why the Patient Experience Team (PET) is here to help. Our Patient Experience Team is here to try to resolve your concerns as quickly as possible. The office is based on the ground floor at the University Hospital of North Tees if you wish to discuss concerns in person. If you would like to contact or request a copy of our PET leaflet, please contact:
Telephone: 01642 624719
Freephone: 0800 092 0084
Opening hours: Monday to Friday, 9:30am to 4:00pm
Email: [email protected]
Out of hours
Out of hours if you wish to speak to a senior member of Trust staff, please contact the hospital switchboard who will bleep the appropriate person.
Telephone: 01642 617617
Data protection and use of patient information
The Trust has developed Data Protection policies in accordance with Data Protection Legislation (UK General Data Protection Regulations and Data Protection Act 2018) and the Freedom of Information Act 2000. All of our staff respect these policies and confidentiality is adhered to at all times. If you require further information on how we process your information please see our Privacy Notices.
Telephone: 01642 383551
Email: [email protected]Privacy Notices
This leaflet has been produced in partnership with patients and carers. All patient leaflets are regularly reviewed, and any suggestions you have as to how it may be improved are extremely valuable. Please write to the Clinical Governance team, North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust, University Hospital of North Tees, TS19 8PE or:
Email: [email protected]
Leaflet reference: PIL1168
Date for review: 9 June 2024