Bladder cancer

We provide treatment and care for all types of bladder cancer.

We use a urine (pee) test and blue light cystoscopy for accurate diagnosis. This helps us plan the best treatment for you.

You may need a range of treatments, sometimes in combination. These can include:

  • radiotherapy
  • chemotherapy
  • immunotherapy, this uses your immune system to target your cancer
  • bladder removal and reconstruction surgery, including robotic surgery
  • laser ablation to remove less aggressive tumours. This can be done as an outpatient under local anaesthetic

Wherever possible, we'll recommend treatments that keep your bladder, prostate or womb and vagina working as normal.

For more aggressive cancers, we'll recommend a combination of treatments and surgery to remove your bladder.

Our team is experienced in treating more complex and high-risk cases and take referrals from other hospitals. 

We're committed to providing you with personalised cancer care. You can read more about what this means on our cancer care and support page.

Our expert team includes:

  • urological consultants and surgeons
  • cancer doctors
  • radiologists
  • pathologists
  • specialist nurses
  • dietitians
  • physiotherapists


If you need to stay in hospital during your treatment, you'll stay on:

Preparing for your operation

Watch our preparing for your operation film to find out what you can expect during your care with us before, during and after an operation and how you can help your recovery after surgery.

Mr Jonathan Olsburgh (consultant surgeon): In this video we're going to talk about what you can expect during your care with us before, during and after an operation and what steps you can take to assist your recovery and help you to get home as quickly as possible.

This is often referred to as the enhanced recovery programme.

These principles apply to any kind of operation. Evidence shows that being prepared for your operation both mentally and physically will help your recovery. You will know what to expect, what you can do to make yourself feel better. This is a key element of enhanced recovery.

Applying enhanced recovery principles before your operation helps ensure you're better prepared by looking at exercise and diet; if appropriate stopping smoking or reducing alcohol; thinking about your home circumstances and having information on what to expect at each stage.

Ian Wicks (kidney transplant patient): I spoke to my doctor when I turned out for my regular appointments about what to expect and things like that helped. I'm someone who likes to know information in advance it helps me process it a bit better. Back in the education sessions it was, don't smoke if you smoke, don't drink if you drink.

Start to manage your diet a little bit differently, which we did, and in terms of the diet I think that was the thing that probably helped the most given guidance on what things would be good for me to eat the things that wouldn't be so good for me to eat. I think having that information and also listening to it is really important.

Kathryn Chatterton (clinical nurse specialist): When I first meet you I'll be introduced to you by my consultant and then we'll be able to go through before and after what's going to be happening to you during your surgery. You'll also be given the opportunity to ask me any questions and also I'll make sure that you have the appropriate literature for you to have with regards to your surgery.

Before your surgery you'll attend a pre-assessment clinic or a seminar which will be with a group of patients that are all undergoing the same surgery. Depending on the type of surgery and length of surgery there are a few members of the health care professional team that you may meet.

You may meet the clinical nurse specialists who will be able to go through any additional questions that you're unsure about regarding your surgery. You will also meet a physiotherapist. They may be able to help you with any exercise to help you for pre and post-surgery and also, perhaps depending on the surgery, a pharmacist.

Our dietitians can give guidance on nutrition before your surgery and how to look after yourself nutritionally when you're discharged. Some patients may be asked to drink a special carbohydrate drink which will help prepare your body for the operation and will help you with your recovery.

Anna Mae Salvador (ward manager): The nurses will prepare you for surgery and when you're ready you'll be taken to an anaesthetic room and from there you're going to the operating room. After an operation most patient will wake up in the recovery room where you will be monitored until you're ready to go back to the ward.

If you have had complex surgery or have complex medical needs you may move to a more specialist unit to be monitored through the initial recovery before being moved to the ward.

It is important to get up and get moving as soon as you can after your operation. Most patients can start gentle exercises in bed and maybe sit out in a chair with assistance from the nurse on the same day of the operation. Movement will really help your recovery.

The team looking after you will make sure you start eating and drinking at the right time after your operation, building this up gradually. We will also ask you if you have any pain or nausea and will help you manage this.

Ian Wicks: I think it was on day one after the operation I should be getting out of bed and sitting up for a little while and I think that gave me the kind of the kick to get up and do it, thinking with that's what I've been told to do that's got to be the right thing to do even if it hurts. So get up, get out of bed and just try and do what the little booklet told me to do.

I think having like a plan laid out, almost like a diary of what to expect, was really helpful, and I think in some ways you almost want to psychologically to try and beat it a little bit because I think it ran for five or six days, the programme. It was nice to know that I could sit in a chair longer than they expected me to sit in a chair for example. So that was a bit of a challenge almost to try and do better than it was laying out for you.

Mr Jonathan Olsburgh: The important thing to remember is that every patient we see gets personalised care and is based around giving you the best possible experience and fastest possible recovery. The experience of Ian is an example of enhanced recovery to best support a transplant patient, many of the principles apply regardless of the type of operation you require.

Ian Wicks: I went home three and a half days after the operation and I felt ready to go.

Mr Jonathan Olsburgh: We're always happy to answer your questions so please do ask a member of your care team.

Our consultants

Ramesh Thurairaja

Shamim Khan

Rajesh Nair

Sachin Malde

Elsie Mensah

Kay Thomas

Matthew Bultitude

Deborah Enting

Simon Hughes

Vinod Mullassery

Research and clinical trials

Research is vital to improving the care that you receive when you're unwell. You can help improve healthcare by taking part in research studies at our Trust. During your appointment, ask your healthcare professional about research. They'll be happy to tell you about research studies you could be eligible to join.

You can email [email protected] for more information.

Last updated: January 2024

Contact us

Phone: 020 7188 2443

Email: [email protected]


Urology centre, 1st floor, Southwark Wing, Guy's Hospital, Great Maze Pond, London SE1 9RT

Guy's Cancer at Queen Mary's Hospital, Frognal Avenue, Sidcup, Kent DA14 6LT

Opening times

  • urology outpatients department is open Monday to Friday, 9am to 4pm
  • our bladder cancer clinic runs on Friday from 10.30am to 1.30pm
  • Guy's Cancer at Queen Mary's Hospital is open from 8am to 6pm

Clinical advice for existing patients

You can contact our specialist nurses for advice, information and support during your cancer treatment.

Phone: 020 7188 7636

Please leave a message and we'll aim to get back to you on the same day from Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm. If you need to speak to your specialist nurse urgently, call our switchboard on 020 7188 7188 and give them their bleep number.

Email: [email protected]

Do you have any comments or concerns about your care?

Contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS)

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