Actos Bladder Cancer Prognosis

If you've taken Actos (pioglitazone) to treat your type 2 diabetes and may have gotten bladder cancer from it, you're probably wondering, "What are my chances of a full recovery?"

Ask your medical oncologist to calculate these chances, also known as your prognosis. Based on the experience of other patients with your type of cancer, doctors predict the outcome of your treatment.

But there's a lot about you that also figures into the equation:

The stage of your cancer, which means its degree of severity, ranging from superficial to one that has spread to distant parts of your body. (See Bladder cancer stages and Bladder cancer survival.) According to the National Cancer Institute, about 80 percent of all bladder cancers are superficial and 40 percent of patients who get these cancers never get them again.

Your cancer cell type or grade, which refers to how aggressively your cancer is growing. Low-grade tumors look and act more like normal cells, while high grade tumors are more abnormal and dangerous. Medium cells are in-between.

Your age and overall health. Younger people tend to do better, simply because they don't typically have other health complications outside of their cancer to worry about.

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What's Next for Me After Bladder Cancer Treatment?

When your treatment is completed, your bladder cancer battle isn't over. You'll be closely monitored with physical exams, blood work and imaging tests that make pictures of the inside of your body using X-rays, sound waves, magnetic fields and radioactive dyes to see whether your bladder cancer has returned or spread.

And you'll have bladder exams and urinalysis to check for cancer cells every three to six months during the first four years after treatment and every year after that. Because the bladder cancer recurrence rate is from 40 to 80 percent, you're likely to be monitored for a lifetime.