TURBT can eradicate non-muscle invasive bladder cancer. However, there is a still a possibility of recurrence (cancer returning) within the bladder. The chance of recurrence can be reduced by instilling medications within the bladder several weeks after completion of TURBT.
This medication is called Bacillus-Calmette Guerin (BCG), a live but weakened bacteria, similar to the BCG used in Singapore's national vaccination programme against tuberculosis. The BCG bacteria is placed as a solution into the bladder through a urinary catheter. This BCG causes inflammation of the bladder wall which in turn stimulates the immune system to kill any cancer cells which may be present in the bladder.
The drug itself stays in your bladder for two hours and is then drained out through the urinary catheter, or leaves your bladder when you pass urine. The recommended number of sessions of BCG instillation depends on the aggressiveness of the original bladder cancer but most patients would receive at least 6 weekly sessions and a booster of 3 weekly sessions 3 months later. Your urologist will advise you accordingly.