Cancer Caught Early
Appointment Icon

UnityPoint Clinic Kenyon Road - Walk-In

800 Kenyon Road
Suite R
Fort Dodge, Iowa 50501

Closed Patients
Waiting Now

Cancer Caught Early

by -

Bladder Cancer Survivor
Having dealt with UTIs before, Cindy Polk figured the blood in her urine was just another infection. So, to quickly be seen and get a prescription she went to UnityPoint Clinic – Urgent Care. However, the provider who saw Cindy was concerned when she saw Cindy’s medical record and the frequency Cindy was being plagued with an infection. She recommended Cindy meet with her primary care provider to look further into her symptoms. Cindy made an appointment with her regular provider, Dr. Minion, who also expressed concerned. 

“Dr. Minion wanted me to see a specialist just to make sure there wasn’t something else going on,” Cindy shares. A few days later, Cindy found herself at UnityPoint Health Center for Urology in Fort Dodge, meeting with Dr. Andresen. He ran several tests on Cindy, ultimately confirming what the red flags had been indicating – Cindy had bladder cancer. 

The diagnosis was a blow to Cindy, as she wasn’t a stranger to cancer. For several years she had walked alongside her husband, Leonard, as he fought a battle against colon cancer. It was within a year of loosing him, that cancer would creep back into Cindy’s world only this time pertaining to her. 
While it wasn’t the diagnosis Cindy wanted to hear, Dr. Andresen softened the blow with great compassion and reassured her that this cancer was very treatable, and her outcome looked great. 

“Dr. Andresen sat down with me and explained in detail what was going on, as well as the treatment I would have to undergo,” shares Cindy. “He took his time with me, drawing diagrams and everything. He was very caring and comforting, reassuring me that all would be ok.”

Cindy was diagnosed with malignant neoplasm of the bladder. A type of cancer that causes tumors to grow inside the bladder. After Dr. Andresen surgically removed Cindy’s tumors, she underwent a treatment called Bacillus Calmette-Guerin or BCG. BCG is a type of alive bacteria that has been altered to remove the harmful properties. It is then administered via a catheter into the bladder where it stimulates an immune response. Thus, the patient’s own immune system will attack the cancerous bladder cells. 

Cindy was able to receive her treatment through the Trinity Infusion Center and for the most part was able to work during her treatment. Almost a year later, Cindy is free of cancer. She does however continue to have routine follow-ups with Dr. Andresen. 

“I consider myself fortunate to have caught the cancer so early,” expresses Cindy. “I’m thankful the for the great care I received at the Urology clinic. They became like family to me and made a very difficult time much easier. Whenever I see the office staff out and about, they always ask me how I am doing and make me feel like I matter.”

If you have questions, concerns or urological issues call UnityPoint Health Center for Urology today at 515-574-8490. The Center is open Monday – Friday in Fort Dodge. 

Did you know?

Bladder Cancer is the tenth most common cancer in women, and fourth most common in men. Bladder cancer’s most common symptom is visible blood microscopic blood in the urine. 

Dr. Andresen states that smoking is the biggest risk factor to develop bladder cancer, increasing an individual’s risk by two to three times. Others risk factors include age (most individuals diagnosed between 65-74), work related exposure to certain chemicals, chemotherapy drugs, exposure to arsenic from contaminated drinking water, and other less common risk factors.

Dr. Andresen also states that, “Bladder cancer is a very treatable cancer if caught in its earlier stages.”