URO ONCOLOGY

Uro-oncology or urological oncology is the discipline that deals with cancer in male and female urinary tracts and the male reproductive organ. It revolves around the detection, staging and treatment of cancers that affect the bladder, prostate, penis, testicles and kidney. An urologic oncologist is extensively trained to treat urinary tract malignancies while sparing the healthy tissues. In most cases of urologic cancers, surgery is the primary treatment. The type of surgery strongly depends on the type and stage of cancer. If the cancer is at an advanced stage, chemotherapy, immunotherapy and radiation therapy is also included in the treatment.

Cancers under Uro-Oncology

All cancers in the urinary system of males and females are included within the spectrum of Uro-Oncology. More specifically, it includes:

  • Bladder Cancer is more common amongst men that in women and in 7 out of 10 cases can be cured if detected early. The cancer forms due to cell mutations but the people who smoke are exposed to chemicals which make this more likely to happen to them. Bladder cancer can be treated either by surgically removing the cancerous cells or by using chemotherapy, immunotherapy or radiotherapy.
  • Prostate Cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer in men with symptoms like difficulty in urination, blood in semen or pain and discomfort in the pelvic area. It is usually detected by digital rectal exam and blood tests. While initially, the uro-oncologist may wait to observe the progress of cancer, once required, removal of prostate, immunotherapy, chemotherapy and radiation therapy are used as treatment procedures.
  • Kidney Cancer is one of the most common types of urological cancer. It happens due to mutations in DNA and has symptoms like weight loss, pain in back or side, blood in urine, fever and fatigue. People become more susceptible to kidney cancer when they have high blood pressure, are overweight, have kidney problems or smoke. Kidney cancer is usually treated by surgically removing the malignant part of the kidney or the complete kidney. Radiation therapy and ablative treatment are also used in some cases.
  • Testicular cancer usually occurs due to germ cell mutations. It is common cancer in males and can easily be treated. Symptoms of testicular cancer include a lump in the testicle, accumulation of fluid in the scrotum, pain in testicles, etc. Surgery is an option to treat such cancers apart from radiotherapy, chemotherapy, etc.
  • Penile cancer is a rare form of cancer that causes rashes or growth on the penis. Older men with HPV are more at risk of having penile cancer. In the initial stage treatment involves cream, circumcision, laser, cryotherapy however later it may involve chemotherapy or removal of penis.

Uro-oncology treatments

  • Cystectomy is a surgical procedure that treats bladder cancer. It is the procedure of removing a part of the bladder or the entire bladder through a small incision in the abdomen or with laparoscopic surgery.
  • Nephrectomy is used to treat kidney cancer while involves a surgical procedure of removing the cancerous cells in the kidney. At an early stage, partial nephrectomy is conducted to remove just the affected parts but at an the radical nephrectomy removes the entire kidney.
  • When a bladder cancer requires entire bladder removal, a reconstructive surgery is conducted to the urine to exit from the body
  • Prostatectomy is the surgical procedure that treats prostate cancer when it's in the advanced state and the entire prostate is required to be removed.
  • Testicular cancer is treated with a surgical procedure which involves radical inguinal orchiectomy. The procedure usually removes the testicles and could also remove the spermatic cord that connects testicals to the abdomen. Lymph nodes are removed if required through a procedure called retroperitoneal lymph node dissection.

Cancers of all kinds usually occur because of abnormal cell mutation and are hardly in control of any person. However, precautions like regular checkups, avoiding smoking , having a diet rich in fruits and vegetables with antioxidants and everyday exercise can help us to some extent.