A urologic oncologist is a physician with special training in diagnosing and treating cancers of the male and female urinary tract and the male reproductive organs. These organs include the bladder, kidneys, prostate, penis and testicles. Urologic oncologists are trained to treat urinary tract malignancies using a variety of tools and technologies designed to treat the disease while sparing healthy tissue. A urologic oncologist will work closely with your care team to tailor treatments to your specific cancer, help reduce side effects and address issues of sexual function. Surgeries that may be performed to treat and diagnose prostate cancer include: • Prostatectomy: This procedure removes the entire prostate. In most cases, the procedure is performed using the da Vinci® Surgical System. This robotic surgical system is designed to require smaller incisions and make more precise cuts. The robotic surgical tool also is designed to navigate around and spare nerves that are essential for sexual function. • Biopsy: Prostate cancer is definitively diagnosed with a biopsy, a minor surgical procedure in which a sample of suspected cancer cells are removed for examination and testing by a pathologist. Biopsies may be performed endoscopically, while others are performed under image guidance, such as with ultrasound, computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technology.
What is Kidney Cancer? If a kidney tumor is malignant, it is kidney cancer. The two main types of kidney cancer are renal cell cancer and transitional cell cancer. In adults, renal cell cancer, which begins in the lining of small tubes inside the kidney, is most common. Transitional cell cancer is far less common. Wilms’ tumor, another type of kidney cancer, is most frequently seen in children. Kidney cancer symptoms may include: • Blood in the urine • Pain or a lump in the lower back • Fatigue) • Loss of appetite • Unexpected weight loss • Fever • Anemia Kidney cancer diagnostic tests may include: • Urine tests: Using a urine sample from normal urination, clinicians will determine if the urine contains tumor cells. • Cystoscopy: allows the doctor to see inside the body with a thin, lighted, flexible tube called a cystoscope • Biopsy: the removal of a small amount of tissue for examination under a microscope • Computed tomography (CT or CAT) scan: creates a 3-dimensional picture of the inside of the body using x-rays taken from different angles • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): uses magnetic fields, not x-rays, to produce detailed images of the body • Positron emission tomography (PET) scan: creates pictures of organs and tissues inside the body • Ultrasound: uses sound waves to create a picture of the internal organs • Blood tests: to check for increased blood levels of certain proteins
Prostate cancer is cancer that occurs in the prostate. The prostate is a small walnut-shaped gland in males that produces the seminal fluid that nourishes and transports sperm. Prostate cancer is one of the most common types of cancer. Many prostate cancers grow slowly and are confined to the prostate gland, where they may not cause serious harm. However, while some types of prostate cancer grow slowly and may need minimal or even no treatment, other types are aggressive and can spread quickly. Prostate cancer that’s detected early — when it’s still confined to the prostate gland — has the best chance for successful treatment. Symptoms Prostate cancer may cause no signs or symptoms in its early stages. Prostate cancer that’s more advanced may cause signs and symptoms such as: • Trouble urinating • Decreased force in the stream of urine • Blood in the urine • Blood in the semen • Bone pain • Losing weight without trying • Erectile dysfunction
Bladder cancer is a common type of cancer that begins in the cells of the bladder. The bladder is a hollow muscular organ in your lower abdomen that stores urine. Bladder cancer most often begins in the cells (urothelial cells) that line the inside of your bladder. Urothelial cells are also found in your kidneys and the tubes (ureters) that connect the kidneys to the bladder. Urothelial cancer can happen in the kidneys and ureters, too, but it’s much more common in the bladder. Most bladder cancers are diagnosed at an early stage, when the cancer is highly treatable. But even early-stage bladder cancers can come back after successful treatment. For this reason, people with bladder cancer typically need follow-up tests for years after treatment to look for bladder cancer that recurs Bladder cancer signs and symptoms may include: • Blood in urine (hematuria), which may cause urine to appear bright red or cola colored, though sometimes the urine appears normal and blood is detected on a lab test • Frequent urination • Painful urination • Back pain