Cancer Support - Bladder Naturopathic Protocol

Cancer Support - Bladder Naturopathic Protocol

This Cancer Support - Bladder Naturopathic Protocol is provided as information for patients of HealthMasters Naturopath Kevin Tresize ND as part of a treatment plan to assist patients with understanding of their treatment plan and should not be substituted for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It is important to note that this is a summary only and is intended to assist discussion between practitioner and patient as part of consultations. This Cancer Support - Bladder Naturopathic Protocol may be changed to suit the individual requirements of the patient and should not be substituted for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

HealthMasters Naturopath Kevin Tresize ND



1. Definition

2. Aetiology (Cause) / Risk Factors

3. Signs and Symptoms

4. Core Treatment

5. Alphanetical Reference of Nutritional Support

6. Diet, Lifestyle and Specific Natural Treatements

7. Pathology Tests

8. Medical Treatments

9. Footnotes


Integrative oncology that complements orthodox medical treatment allows for improved health outcomes for patients living with cancer. Although Complementary Therapies such as natural medicines provide effective patient-centred care, optimising treatment efficacy and reducing treatment side effects, they are not a first-line therapy or a substitute for conventional pharmacological treatment. Rather, Complementary Therapies provide beneficial outcomes when part of a multi-disciplinary approach that is oncologist-led. Sustainable and effective patient care occurs when health professionals communicate and work collaboratively rather than as isolated independent Practitioners.


1. Definition: 

Bladder cancers usually start from the cells lining the bladder (called transitional cells).These tumours are classified based on the way they grow:

  • Papillary tumours have a wart-like appearance and are attached to a stalk.
  • Nonpapillary (sessile) tumours are flat. They are much less common. However, they are more invasive and have a worse outcome.
  • Ninety percent of bladder cancers are transitional cell carcinoma. The other 10% are squamous cell carcinoma, adenocarcinoma, sarcoma, small cell carcinoma, and secondary deposits from cancers elsewhere in the body.


2. Aetiology (Cause) / Risk factors: 

The exact cause of bladder cancer is uncertain. However, several things may make you more likely to develop it:

  • Cigarette smoking greatly increases the risk of developing bladder cancer. Over half of all bladder cancers in men and one third of cases in women are associated with cigarette smoke.
  • Occupational chemical exposure is thought to be involved with 25-30% of bladder tumours. The highest occupational risks include dye workers, rubber workers, aluminium workers, leather workers, truck drivers, and pesticide applicators.
  • Chemotherapy: The chemotherapy drug cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan) may increase the risk of bladder cancer.
  • Radiation treatment: Women who have had radiation therapy to treat cervical cancer have an increased risk of developing bladder cancer.
  • Bladder infection: Chronic bladder infection or irritation may lead to a certain type of bladder cancer.
  • Some research has suggested a link between artificial sweeteners and bladder cancer.


3. Signs and Symptoms: 

Symptoms of bladder cancer can include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Blood in the urine
  • Bone pain or tenderness if the cancer spreads to the bone
  • Fatigue
  • Painful urination
  • Urinary frequency
  • Urinary urgency
  • Urine leakage (incontinence)
  • Weight loss


4. Core Treatment:

Please refer to CANCER - GENERAL protocol for complete recommendations

Maintain vitamin B6 status

4.1 Men’s Multi with Milk Thistle1 tablet twice daily


4.2 Female Nutritional Support with Broccoli1 tablet twice daily


4.3 Vitamins B5, B6 and C for Stress and Adrenal Health1 tablet twice daily

Provide gut and immune support during and between chemotherapy/radiation treatment, and reduce treatment side effects

4.4 AHCC and Ginger - 2 capsules twice daily

Support mitochondrial function

4.5 Enhanced Bioavailability Ubiquinol for Energy and Cardiovascular Health - 1 capsule daily

Increase vitamin C intake and support zinc levels

4.6 Zinc and Vitamin C Powder - 1 teaspoon twice daily

Offset potential gut microbiome disruption from conventional treatment

4.7 Probiotics for Gut Microbiota Restoration and Support - 1 capsule twice daily

Resolve chronic inflammation

4.8 Specialised Pro-Resolving Mediators[*] - 1 capsule twice daily

Manage chronic pain

4.9 Highly Bioavailable Palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) With Endocannabinoid Action - 1 capsule twice daily

Increase fluid intake

Found to reduce risks and complications of bladder cancer

4.10 Drink at least 2L water daily


5. Alphabetical Reference of Nutritional Support:

Formula Catch Phrase

Key Benefits

AHCC and Ginger

Active hexose correlated compound (AHCC™), an extract from Lentinula edodes (shiitake), and Zingiber officinale (ginger) support the immune system in both infectious conditions and cancer. These constituents may also optimise anticancer drug therapy treatment and assist with offsetting treatment side effects, including gastrointestinal disturbances such as nausea.

Enhanced Bioavailability Ubiquinol for Energy and Cardiovascular Health

Ubiquinol is the active form of coenzyme Q10, a potent antioxidant and mitochondrial stimulant. Efficient conversion of inactive ubiquinone to ubiquinol is reported to decrease with aging and in conditions with high oxidative stress, thus making active ubiquinol best suited for patients whose ability to convert is compromised.

Female Nutritional Support with Broccoli

Pyridoxyl-5-phosphate has been found to inhibit melanoma growth in vitro and has been found to reduce the side effects of immunosuppressive therapy. Combined with optimum levels of vitamins and chelated minerals support energy production, detoxification and reduce stress.  Broccoli extract supports healthy liver function.

Highly Bioavailable Palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) With Endocannabinoid Action

PEA is a bioactive lipid that directly modulates endocannabinoid signalling, indirectly increasing cannabinoid receptor activity throughout the nervous system, including microglial cells and astrocytes, as well as receptor activity in immune cells. PEA’s actions enhance anti-neuroinflammatory, analgesic and neuroprotective pathways, benefiting chronic pain, including neuropathic pain, in addition to neurodegenerative conditions.

Men’s Multi with Milk Thistle

Pyridoxyl-5-phosphate has been found to inhibit melanoma growth in vitro and has been found to reduce the side effects of immunosuppressive therapy. Combined with an iron-free multivitamin/mineral with chelated minerals maximise absorption and cellular uptake.

Probiotics for Gut Microbiota Restoration and Support

Highly researched probiotic strains - Lactobacillus rhamnosus (LGG®), Saccharomyces cerevisiae (boulardii), and Bifidobacterium animalis ssp lactis (BB-12®) - have demonstrated the ability to displace pathogenic bacteria, protect commensals, and encourage restoration of the microbiome in the event of disruption. They also enhance gastrointestinal mucosal integrity, and have a beneficial impact on gastrointestinal function.

Specialised Pro-Resolving Mediators

SPMs are lipid mediators that promote resolution, reduce pain, encourage clearance of pathogens and mitigate pathological inflammation, without immunosuppression. SPMs regulate macrophage polarisation; triggering the switch from M1 (proinflammatory) to the M2 (anti-inflammatory) phenotype, therefore promoting resolution.

Vitamins B5, B6 and C for Stress and Adrenal Health

This formula contains therapeutic levels of key nutrients such as Vitamin C and active B-group vitamins required to support neurotransmitter and adrenal hormone synthesis, activity and receptor sensitivity. It supports optimal functioning of the Stress Response System, which comprises the autonomic nervous system (ANS) and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis.

Zinc and Vitamin C Powder

Zinc is important to maintain genetic stability, as well as supporting healthy gene expression, DNA replication, RNA transcription and DNA repair. Vitamin C is an important intracellular antioxidant.


6. Diet, Lifestyle and Specific Natural Treatments: 

It is important to drink at least 2 litres of purified water daily to reduce the risk and prevent recurrence of bladder cancer. It is thought this helps by preventing direct carcinogen exposure to the bladder epithelium.

Following dietary and lifestyle guidelines as outlined in the Cancer – General protocol are associated with better outcomes and longer survival after bladder cancer.


7. Pathology Tests: 

Pathology Test Interpretation Guidlines

Physical examination

Physical exam includes pelvic palpation, rectal and pelvic exam.

Abdominal/pelvic CT or MRI

Screening to visualise tumour size and location.

Bladder cystoscopy and biopsy

Visualising the inside of the bladder with a camera.

Biopsy at the time of cystoscopy is the gold standard for bladder cancer diagnosis.

Intravenous pyelogram - IVP

Radiography to visualise the shape of the bladder lumen.

Urine cytology

Urine cytology screens for abnormal cells in your urine. Urine cytology is most often used to diagnose bladder cancer, though the test may also detect cancers of the kidney, prostate, ureter and urethra.


A complete dipstick and microscopic exam screens for RBC and WBC, epithelial cells, infectious agents that may be associated with bladder disease.

Omega-3 Index Test

A validated test that measures red-blood cell (RBC) EPA and DHA status to personalise supplemental and diet prescriptions, as well as identifying those at risk of health conditions associated with omega-3 deficiency. An Omega-3 Index in the desirable range of 8%-12% is an indicator of better overall health.


8. Medical Treatments: 

Treatment depends on the stage of the cancer, the severity of symptoms, and overall health.

Stage 0 and I treatments:

  • Surgery to remove the tumour without removing the rest of the bladder
  • Chemotherapy or immunotherapy placed directly into the bladder

Stage II and III treatments:

  • Surgery to remove the entire bladder (radical cystectomy) and nearby lymph nodes
  • Surgery to remove only part of the bladder, followed by radiation and chemotherapy
  • Chemotherapy to shrink the tumour before surgery
  • A combination of chemotherapy and radiation (in patients who choose not to have surgery or who cannot have surgery)
  • Most patients with stage IV tumours cannot be cured and surgery is not appropriate. In these patients, chemotherapy is often considered.


  • Chemotherapy may be given to patients with stage II and III disease either before or after surgery to help prevent the tumour from returning.
  • For early disease (stages 0 and I), chemotherapy is usually given directly into the bladder.
  • A Foley catheter can be used to deliver the medication into the bladder. Common side effects include bladder wall irritation and pain when urinating. For more advanced stages (II-IV), chemotherapy is usually given by vein (intravenously).


  • Bladder cancers are often treated with immunotherapy, to trigger the immune system to attack and kill cancer cells. Immunotherapy for bladder cancer is usually performed using the Bacille Calmette-Guerin vaccine (commonly known as BCG).  Interferon is sometimes administered via a Foley catheter directly into the bladder. If BCG does not work, patients may receive interferon.

SURGERY for bladder cancer includes:

  • Transurethral resection of the bladder (TURB): Cancer tissue is removed through the urethra.
  • Partial or complete removal of the bladder: Stage II or III bladder cancer may require complete bladder removal (radical cystectomy). Surgery is usually followed with radiation and chemotherapy.

Surgery may also be required to drain urine from the body:

  • Ileal conduit or continent urinary reservoir: A small urine reservoir is surgically created from a short piece of the small intestine which exits through an opening in the skin (a stoma), allowing the patient to drain the collected urine out of the reservoir.
  • Orthotopic neobladder: This surgery is becoming more common in patients who had their bladder removed. A part of the bowel is folded over to make a pouch that collects urine. It is attached where the urine normally empties from the bladder. This procedure allows some normal urinary control.


9. Footnotes:

[*] Ensuring patients maintain an omega 3 index above 8% is essential to SPM production. Omega-3 status can be evaluated/monitored using the Omega-3 Index Test (refer to pathology testing section). In the instance of deficiency, consider co-prescribing an omega-3 essential fatty acid supplement.