Common knowledge says that when you find cancer early and treat it aggressively, you can expect better outcomes.
New research is finding otherwise in the case of bladder cancer found in its early stages.
After looking at more than 20,000 patients who were treated for early stage bladder cancer, researchers found no difference in outcomes whether patients received aggressive treatment or lower-intensity cancer treatment.
For the patient with bladder cancer, aggressive treatment means enduring more invasive testing, more imaging which increases their exposure to radiation, and even surgery to remove the bladder.
Not only is this expensive, but undergoing these additional procedures with no additional benefit is stressful and tiring for the patient. This appears to be a case where more treatment is not necessarily better.
While researchers pointed out that some patients may be better served by more intensive treatment in the early stages of bladder cancer, there is clearly no indication that all patients should receive such aggressive treatment.
Further research will be conducted to see which patients might benefit from intensive treatment. Bladder cancer is one of the most expensive cancers to treat as it is generally considered a life-long, chronic condition.