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BCG Treatment
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BCG Treatment

I am about to start BCG treatment for T1 bladder cancer.  I am told that I am to try to hold the BCG in my bladder for about two hours.  What are the symptons that I will be experiencing during the two hours?  Are there any medications that I should consider which will make it easier for me to hold it for the two hour period?
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BCG is a live bacteria related to tuberculosis. It is instilled into the bladder through a tube (catheter) passed through your urethra. As you stated, it is best if you can keep it in your bladder for two hours. During that time you will likely be asked to reposition yourself every 15-20 minutes so as to coat all bladder surfaces (though not all physicians feel that this is necessary). The volume instilled is only 50 ml.  but if your bladder is filling rapidly or your bladder is small then you could find it difficult to hold it that long. I recommend that you drink little to nothing for 6-8 hours before your treatment so that you are a bit dehydrated. This also will help to keep the BCG as undiluted as possible.
Most people experience only a feeling of having a full bladder while they are getting the treatment. Afterwards some individuals experience symptoms of a bladder infection: frequent urination, burning with urinating, awakening at night to urinate, urgency to get to the bathroom, maybe even bloody urine. Usually these symptoms resolve in a few days but if you are very uncomfortable, discuss these with your physician In particular, if you experience fever (101 degrees or higher) or shaking chills, feeling ill in general do contact your urologist.
You will need to treat your urine with Clorox for the first 6 hours after your treatment to kill the bacteria. The Clorox is just poured into the toilet bowel each time that you urinate. There are instructions as to how to handle your wash, also. Try on line or ask if your physician has an instruction sheet.
Most people do not have any significant problem with this treatment. Note that the symptoms may not be the same after every treatment.
Good luck with your cancer!
S.A.Liroff, M.D.
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Hi. I've received a few rounds of BCG treatment over the past few years. You are instructed to lie down for the two hours and rotate a quarter-turn every 15 minutes to coat the bladder with BCG. Before instilling the drug, the nurse or doctor should extract any urine from your bladder so you will not feel full and have the urge to urinate.

I haven't had any problems with the treatment, but many people report an adverse reaction to the BCG itself. It is a cumulative effect, so you may find your fifth treatment more bothersome than your first. People report flu-like symptoms, rashes, painful urination, etc. Again, I haven't had any problems.

Good luck.
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