Cancers of the kidney, bladder, prostate, and testicles are considered urologic cancers. Although not as commonly publicized as breast cancer, prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among men of all ethnicities and one of the leading causes of death when it goes undiagnosed. Bladder cancer is also one of the most common forms of cancer in both men and women, most commonly effecting men and women over 65. Testicular cancer, recently brought into the spotlight by pro-cyclist Lance Armstrong’s public battle with the disease, affects over 8,000 men annually but has a 95% survival rate if diagnosed early.
Kidney cancers, most commonly caused by a renal cell carcinoma, rarely show symptoms in the early stages. Often, diagnosis occurs while a physician is testing for other conditions by abdominal ultrasound or a CT scan. Although less common, transitional cell carcinomas (also affecting the ureters or bladder) begin as kidney cancers.
If a kidney cancer is suspected, physicians look for trace amounts of blood in the urine sample, or in more extreme cases, large amounts of blood.
A radical nephrectomy involves the removal of the affected kidney and any affected tissue or lymph nodes at the site. This procedure is done as an open procedure with a large incision or as a laparoscopic procedure in which the physician inserts a camera and surgical tools through a few small holes to remove the kidney.
This surgery involves the partial removal of the kidney. During surgery, the tumor, as well as a buffer of surrounding healthy tissue, is removed. This surgery can be performed with a larger, open incision or laparoscopically. This surgical option is often used for smaller tumors or in patients who have just one kidney. Your physician will determine the best method of treatment for you.
During this procedure, your doctor will insert a needle into the tumor in your kidney. This needle will release a gas that will freeze the cancer cells of the tumor.