Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) is a live vaccine, which is given to treat bladder cancer and helps prevent the cancer from recurring. When it is put into your bladder it causes inflammation. This inflammation destroys tumors and cancerous cells, therefore helping to stop the cancer from growing and spreading. You should not have BCG treatment if you have any of the following:
- If your Trans Urethral Resection of Bladder Tumor (TURBT) was done less than 2 weeks ago
- You should not receive a ‘live’ vaccine for 4 weeks before or after receiving a dose of BCG.
- If you are immune-suppressed because of medication you are taking
- Have an active urinary tract infection (UTI)
After your bladder biopsy confirms bladder cancer the usual course of treatment is once a week for 6 weeks. BCG instillation is done by inserting a catheter through the opening of the urethra into the bladder (see below). When the catheter is in the bladder, medication (BCG) will be passed through the catheter into the bladder.