Uro-oncology deals with cancers of the kidney(s), the prostate and the urinary bladder.
- Kidney Cancer : The most common symptom of kidney cancer is visible blood in the urine( hematuria). Other common symptoms of kidney cancer are the presence of a lump or mass in the abdomen, and pain in the side. Like all cancers, kidney cancer can cause fatigue, loss of appetite, weight loss and anaemia.Diagnosis begins with a physical examination by your doctor. The tests for kidney cancer include Ultrasound abdomen, CT Scan abdomen,etc Surgery is the mainstay of treatment. Immunotherapy may be needed according to the stage.
- Prostate Cancer : Prostate cancer is a malignant tumour that begins most often in the outer part of the prostate. It may spread to the inner part of the prostate, and beyond the prostate, to other parts of the body. Most men who get prostate cancer are 50 years of age or older, and the risk increases with age. It is one of the good cancers of the body, in a sense that it progresses or metastasize slowly.
- Rectal Examination : Rectal examination is the first step in diagnosing prostate cancer. Using a gloved finger to examine inside the rectum, the doctor may be able to feel a hard lump or growth in the prostate.
- Test to Detect Elevated Levels of Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) : PSA is a substance produced by both normal and malignant prostate cells. Some men with Benign Prostate Hypertrophy (BPH) or prostatitis (an inflamed prostate) have increased levels of PSA even without cancer.
- Biopsy : If initial clinical evaluation suggests the presence of prostate cancer, a biopsy of the prostate is usually recommended. A biopsy of the prostate causes no more discomfort than a visit to the dentist. If the biopsy is positive, then a bone scan and/or computer scanning may be needed to help determine the extent of the cancer.
For treating prostate cancer, your doctor may use one or more of the following treatment methods - surgery, hormonal treatment, radiation and anti-cancer drugs. Both surgery and radiation provide excellent 10-year survival rates. Your doctor can help advise you about the best treatment for your cancer.
- Bladder Cancer : Men are affected 5 times more often than women, and cigarette smokers have an increased risk of developing bladder cancer. Exposure to certain chemicals in the workplace has also been associated with an increased risk of developing bladder cancer.
The earliest clue that you may have a bladder tumour is the presence of blood in your urine. You may or may not see the blood. Sometimes it can only be spotted under a microscope. People with kidney stones or urinary tract infections and men with enlarged prostate glands may also have blood in their urine. It is therefore important to find out the underlying cause in each case of having blood in the urine.
- Cystoscopy : In cystoscopy, a pencil-thin, telescope-like instrument (cystoscope) with a light source and magnifying lenses is inserted gently into the urethra and passed into the urinary bladder to examine its lining. The cystoscope also permits the urologist to remove a tissue
The treatment for bladder cancer depends on how deeply the tumour has grown into the bladder wall.
The treatments for bladder cancer are:
- Transurethral Resection(TURBT) : If the growth is superficial, that is, if it is confined to the bladder wall, the tumour is usually removed with an instrument called a resectoscope. Removal of a bladder tumour in this way is referred to as transurethral resection.
- Cystectomy : Some bladder cancers are invasive, meaning that the cancer has grown through the bladder lining into the bladder wall. In such cases, the urologist may recommend that the urinary bladder be completely removed. This operation is called a cystectomy.
- Intravesical Immunotherapy : It is a form of treatment where a specific medicine [Bacille Calmette-Guerin (BCG)] is most commonly used] is introduced into the urinary bladder in patients who are diagnosed with cancer of the urinary bladder. The goal is to decrease recurrence of the disease, prevent progression and eradicate residual disease after endoscopic surgery for the cancer.
Regular follow-up is required because bladder cancers often recur, especially within the first year or two after discovery of the first cancer. Because tumours can recur, it is important for the urologist to look into your urinary bladder regularly with a cystoscope and to inspect cells from your urine with a microscope.
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