cancers of the urinary tract

Book an Appointment

Overview

Urinary tract cancers are common and comprise a gamut of lesions ranging from small benign tumors to aggressive neoplasms with high mortality. The predominant urinary tract malignancy is bladder cancer. The clinical challenge is early detection and adequate follow-up because recurrence is high and delayed diagnosis is associated with poor prognosis. Primary care physicians form a key part of the management apparatus for these patients and may be responsible for ensuring adequate ongoing surveillance. This article aims to outline the evaluation of patients in whom urinary tract cancer is suspected and briefly review the general principles of treatment.

Symptoms

Urothelial carcinoma, also known as transitional cell carcinoma (TCC), is by far the most common type of bladder cancer. In fact, if you have bladder cancer it's almost certain to be a urothelial carcinoma. These cancers start in the urothelial cells that line the inside of the bladder.

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.

Causes

Smoking. Smoking cigarettes, cigars or pipes may increase the risk of bladder cancer by causing harmful chemicals to accumulate in the urine. ...

Increasing age. ...

Being male. ...

Exposure to certain chemicals. ...

Previous cancer treatment. ...

Chronic bladder inflammation. ...

Personal or family history of cancer.

Risk factors

Smoking. Smoking is the most important risk factor for bladder cancer. ...

Workplace exposures. Certain industrial chemicals have been linked with bladder cancer. ...

Certain medicines or herbal supplements. ...

Arsenic in drinking water. ...

Not drinking enough fluids. ...

Race and ethnicity. ...

Age. ...

Gender.

Calendar Schedule

Have a medical question?

We are available to help you with all your questions and concerns.

Complications

Anemia.

Swelling of the ureters (hydronephrosis)

Urethral stricture.

Urinary incontinence.

Erectile dysfunction in men.

Sexual dysfunction in women.

Prevention

Don't smoke. Smoking is thought to cause about half of all bladder cancers. ...

Limit exposure to certain chemicals in the workplace. Workers in industries that use certain organic chemicals have a higher risk of bladder cancer. ...

Drink plenty of liquids. ...

Eat lots of fruits and vegetables.