The Urologic Oncology Center at MedStar Washington Hospital Center provides a comprehensive approach to the diagnosis and management of cancerous (malignant) and non-cancerous tumors (benign) of the male and female urinary and reproductive systems.
At Washington Cancer Institute, our cancer specialists are leading experts in treating patients with all types of urologic cancers. Our surgeons specialize in using advanced technologies and procedures including robotic, laparoscopic, and open surgery, ensuring that maximum functionality is restored to affected organs after treatment.
Urologic cancers are defined as cancer involving any of the following organs:
Your treatment will depend on the type of urologic cancer you have and the stage at diagnosis. Our patients have access to a wide range of services including screening exams, second opinions, transrectal ultrasound and biopsy, diagnostic imaging, and targeted, advanced treatments from surgery to radiation therapy.
The bladder is a hollow organ in the pelvis with flexible, muscular walls. Its main function is to store urine before it leaves the body. Urine is made by the kidneys and is then carried to the bladder through tubes called ureters. Bladder cancer is the fourth most common cancer among men and is linked strongly to smoking.
Bladder Cancer Symptoms
- Blood in urine (hematuria) — urine may appear dark yellow, bright red or cola colored
- Urine may appear normal, but blood may be detected in a microscopic examination
- Frequent urination
- Painful urination
- Back pain
- Pelvic pain
Bladder Cancer Risks
- Older than age 40
- Being male
- Exposure to chemicals
- Chronic bladder inflammation
- Taking diabetes medication pioglitazone (Actos) for more than a year
- Personal or family history of bladder cancer
- Prior cancer with the anti-cancer drug cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan)
Your kidneys are two bean-shaped organs, each about the size of your fist. They're located behind your abdominal organs, with one kidney on each side of your spine. The most common type of kidney cancer is renal cell carcinoma.
Kidney cancer is among the 10 most common cancers in both men and women. Most people with kidney cancer are older when diagnosed with the average age at diagnosis being 64. It’s very uncommon in people younger than age 45.
Kidney Cancer Symptoms
- Blood in the urine (hematuria)
- Lower back pain on one side (not caused by injury)
- Lump on the side or lower back
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss not caused by dieting
- Persistent fever that is not caused by an infection
Kidney Cancer Risks
- Being older, your risk of kidney cancer increases as you age
- High blood pressure
- Treatment for kidney failure
- Von Hippel-Lindau disease
- Hereditary papillary renal cell carcinoma
Testicular cancer is the most common in young men ages 15 to 44. It is highly treatable and usually curable. It typically develops in one or both testicles in young men, although it can occur at any age.
Testicular Cancer Symptoms
Some cases of testicular cancer have no symptoms. If there are symptoms, they may include:
- Discomfort or pain in the testicle, or a feeling of heaviness in the scrotum
- Pain in the back or lower abdomen
- Enlarged testicle or a change in the way it feels
- Excess amount of breast tissue (gynecomastia), however this can occur normally in adolescent boys who do not have testicular cancer
- Lump or swelling in either testicle
If the cancer has spread (metastasized) beyond the testicles, it can infiltrate your abdomen, pelvis, back, lungs or brain.
Testicular Cancer Risks
Some of the main factors that may increase your risk of testicular cancer include:
- An undescended testicle: The testes form in the abdominal area during fetal development and usually descend into the scrotum before birth. Men who have a testicle that never descended are at greater risk of testicular cancer in either testicle than are men whose testicles descended normally. The risk remains elevated even if the testicle has been surgically relocated to the scrotum. Still, the majority of men who develop testicular cancer don't have a history of undescended testicles.
- Abnormal testicle development: Conditions that cause testicles to develop abnormally, such as Klinefelter's syndrome, may increase your risk of testicular cancer.
- Family history: If family members have had testicular cancer, you may have an increased risk.
- Age: Testicular cancer affects teens and younger men, particularly those between ages 15 and 35. However, it can occur at any age.
- Race: Testicular cancer is more common in white men than in black men.
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- Learn more about urology services at MedStar Washington
- Prostate Action, Inc.
- American Urologic Association
- American Cancer Society
- Society of Urologic Oncology