”It occurs most frequently in older women and people who have had bladder cancer”

Emobileclinic Trending Issue:Urethral Cancer

Urethral cancer is the growth of malignant cells in tissues of the urethra, the tube that carries urine from the bladder and out of the body. It occurs most frequently in older women and people who have had bladder cancer.
Urethral cancer can also spread (metastasize) to other tissues around the urethra and often can be found in lymph nodes near the urethra.

Types

There are basically three types:
Squamous cell carcinoma forms in cells lining the urethra, inside men’s penises and near the bladder in women; it is the most common urethral cancer.
Transitional cell carcinoma also forms in cells in the urethra, near its opening in women and in the area of the urethra surrounded by the prostate in men.
Adenocarcinoma forms in both men and women in the glands that are around the urethra.

Risk factors for urethral cancer

Risk factors may include:
Previous history of cancer of the bladder
Chronic inflammation due to sexually transmitted infections (STIs) or chronic urinary tract infections (UTIs)
Having HPV (human papilloma virus)
In men, being treated for urethral stricture disease
In women, having had urethral caruncle or urethral diverticulum.

Symptoms of urethral cancer

Bloody urine
Bleeding or other discharge from the urethra
Frequent urination
Unusual thickness or lump in the groin, penis or perineum.

Diagnosis of urethral cancer

It starts with physical examination to help diagnose urethral cancer. The urologist will send a urine sample to a laboratory to look for unusual cells. To confirm a diagnosis, the urologist will commonly use a lighted instrument called a cystoscope to view the inside of the urethra. The doctor might also collect a tissue sample and send it to a laboratory for examination. If urethral cancer is present, more tests can identify the size of the cancer and whether it has spread to other areas of the body. These tests might include a CT scan, an MRI, a chest x-ray and perhaps a bone scan. The urologist also may order imaging of the kidney and the rest of the urinary tract.

Treatment

Surgery is the most common way to remove urethral cancer. Surgeons can remove some tumors without an incision, using electric current or laser tools. Others require conventional surgery. To remove larger tumors, the surgeon may need to remove additional parts of the urinary tract. In this case, the surgeon will create a new way for the body to store and pass urine.
Radiation therapy uses high-energy radiation (like x-rays) to kill cancer cells. Radiation may come from a machine outside the patient’s body. Some radiation treatments are implanted or injected.
Chemotherapy kills cancer cells with powerful drugs. Doctors often prescribe chemotherapy to treat a cancer that has spread (called a metastatic tumor). Sometimes, doctors use chemotherapy to shrink a tumor before surgery.

 



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