If you have prostate cancer or suspect you have prostate cancer or any other urinary tract cancer such as testicular cancer, kidney cancer, or bladder cancer, we’re here to help. Treating urinary tract cancers is one of several urologic services we offer in Colorado Springs, CO, at Pikes Peak Urology.
Our urologists are experienced in all the newest surgical techniques for treating urologic cancers. This includes robotic partial and total nephrectomy for kidney cancer as well as robotic, laparoscopic, open and perineal prostatectomy for treatment of prostate cancer.
We are experienced in robotic cystectomy as well as open cystectomy with both simple and complex urinary diversions for more aggressive and invasive bladder cancers. We are experienced in all surgical techniques involved in the care of testicular cancer and work closely with both medical and radiation oncologists to provide state of the art multi-modal therapy when appropriate.
Get answers to your questions. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation with one of our urologists.
Keep reading to learn more about urinary tract cancers …
What Are Common Urinary Tract Cancers?
The most common types of urinary tract cancers are those that involve the prostate, kidneys, bladder, along with testicular cancer. Often, the best approach to diagnosing and treating these cancers is a team approach. Pikes Peak Urology is experienced in providing this type of coordinated cancer care for all these varities of cancers. The following is a breakdown of the most common type of cancers that involve the urinary tract:
- Prostate Cancer: Cancer of the prostate is an extremely common type of cancer. In fact, it is the second leading cause of death for men in the United States. According to the Urology Care Foundation, around 240,000 new cases of prostate cancer are diagnosed each year. There were 29,000 deaths from prostate cancer in 2013.
- Testicular Cancer: This type of cancer is often experienced by younger men. Most often, men who are diagnosed with this type of cancer are between the ages of 15 and 35. Each year, there are around 7,000 new cases of testicular cancer in America. Thankfully, there is a high cure rate for this cancer.
- Kidney Cancer: Cancer involving the kidneys is in the top ten most common types of cancers in the nation. In some cases, kidney cancer won’t be discovered until it is at a more advanced stage. This is because people often are symptom-free until kidney cancer reaches a certain, more advanced stage.
- Bladder Cancer: This type of cancer is ranked in the top six most common cancers in America. It is often seen in smokers.
What Are Symptoms of Urinary Tract Cancer?
The symptoms you will experience vary depending on the type of cancer you are facing. However, some symptoms overlap. The following will outline the specific symptoms associated with each type of cancer:
Symptoms of Prostate Cancer:
- Difficulty holding back or starting urination.
- Burning or pain when urinating.
- Dribbling, weak, or interrupted flow when urinating.
- A need to urinate frequently. Sometimes, urgently, especially at night.
- Blood in semen or urine.
- A decrease in the fluid level when ejaculating.
- Painful ejaculation.
- Difficultly having an erection.
- Stiffness or pain in the thighs, pelvis, hips or lower back.
Symptoms of Testicular Cancer:
- The earliest symptom is most often an area of hardness or small lump on the testicle. You might also notice the testicle becoming enlarged.
- Discomfort or pain in the scrotum or testicle. This can include swelling but doesn’t always.
- A noticeable change in the way the testicle feels. You might also note a heaviness of the scrotum.
- A dull ache felt in the groin or lower abdomen.
- A buildup of fluid in the scrotum.
- Growth of or breast tenderness.
- Shortness of breath, lower back pain, bloody sputum or phlegm or chest pain.
- Swelling in either one or both legs.
Symptoms of Kidney Cancer:
In many cases, there are no early symptoms associated with kidney cancer until the cancer is more advanced. Eventually, you will notice the following symptoms:
- A lump in your abdomen or side
- Bloody urine
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss that occurs for no discernible reason
- A pain in your side
- A fever, which isn’t caused by an infection or cold, that won’t go away
- Swelling in your legs or ankles
- Extreme fatigue
Symptoms of Bladder Cancer:
- Bloody urine is often the first sign of bladder cancer.
- Changes in urination. This can include a burning or painful sensation when urinating, having to go more often, feeling as if you always have to go even when your bladder isn’t full or having a weak urine stream or difficulty urinating.
- Symptoms of more advanced bladder cancer include swelling of the feet, feeling weak or tired, losing weight, a loss of appetite, bone pain, pain on one side or in the lower back and being unable to urinate at all.
How These Cancers Screened And Diagnosed:
As with any cancer, you want it diagnosed as early as possible in order to have the best chance at winning your battle with cancer. The following is a breakdown of screening and diagnosis of each type of cancer:
Screening for Prostate Cancer:
There are screening options for prostate cancer that you should begin at age 40 if you have a strong family history of prostate cancer at a young age. If you are otherwise healthy and don’t have a strong family history, you can wait until the age of 45 to get screened. Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) screening will alert doctors to the possibility of prostate cancer. Then, they can perform a prostate biopsy to determine if cancer is present and the stage.
Screening for Testicular Cancer:
Our doctors at Pikes Peak Urology will perform a physical examination as the first step of diagnosing testicular cancer. If cancer is suspected, you will likely have an ultrasound on the area. Sometimes, the tumor isn’t large enough to be seen on an ultrasound. Therefore, doctors also use blood tests and tumor markers to test part of the testicle. This will tell doctors the stage of cancer if present. Other tests might be utilized as well to diagnose testicular cancer.
Screening for Kidney Cancer:
Often doctors find kidney cancer accidentally since symptoms do not present until later stages. The improvement of CT scanning, ultrasound and x-ray techniques has led to the accidental discovery of kidney cancer in many cases.
Screening for Bladder Cancer:
The first step in diagnosing bladder cancer is using blood work according to the American Cancer Society. If bladder cancer is suspected, a test like a cystoscopy is employed. This test is performed by placing a cystoscope equipped with a lens, light or small video camera through the urethra opening into the bladder. Salt water is then inserted through the tube to expand the bladder, which allows your doctor to see the inner lining of the bladder. Other tests can also be utilized to determine the stage of bladder cancer.
Risk Factors For Urinary Tract Cancers?
As with any cancer, sometimes, there is nothing you can do to prevent its occurrence. However, there are some risk factors you can avoid to lessen your chances of facing a urinary tract cancer in your lifetime. They are as follows:
- Being overweight
- Eating too few vegetables
- Having a sedentary lifestyle
- Not having any screenings to discover the presence of cancer
Other Risk Factors You Can’t Control:
- Family history
- Agent orange exposure
What Are The Treatment Options For Urinary Tract Cancers?
Treatment options will obviously depend on the type of cancer you have, how aggressive it is, its stage and your age. However, the following are some general treatments that go along with the various cancers we have mentioned:
- Prostate Cancer: If prostate cancer is nonaggressive, sometimes, the best treatment option is just to monitor its progression. However, Pikes Peak Urology offers perineal, open, laparoscopic and robotic prostatectomy as a treatment option for prostate cancer.
- Testicular Cancer: Often, successful treatment of testicular cancer includes a combination of chemotherapy, surgery and radiation therapy.
- Kidney Cancer: In most cases, because you can live without one kidney, surgery is the first treatment option for kidney cancer. Some of the newest surgical techniques like the partial or total nephrectompy are available at Pikes Peak Urology. This is a less invasive option to treat cancer and is on the cutting edge of cancer treatments.
- Bladder Cancer: Treatment for bladder cancer can include immunotherapy, radiation, chemotherapy, intravesical therapy and surgery.
Treatment Options for Prostate & Urinary Tract Cancers in Colorado Springs
For more information about our services for treatment of urinary tract cancers, including treatment for prostate cancer in Colorado Springs, contact us today to schedule a consultation with a board-certified urologist. Evaluations and treatments are covered by most insurances. Please contact your provider for coverage details.