What is cancer of the urethra?
There may be no
If there are symptoms, a doctor will examine the patient and feel for lumps in the urethra. In men, a thin lighted tube called a
The chance of recovery (
Stages of cancer of the urethra
Anterior urethral cancer
The part of the
Posterior urethral cancer
The part of the
Urethral cancer associated with invasive bladder cancer
Occasionally, patients who have
Recurrent urethral cancer
Treatment Option Overview
How cancer of the urethra is treated
There are treatments for all patients with
Surgery(taking out the cancer in an operation). Radiation therapy(using high- dose x-raysor other high-energy rays to kill cancer cells). Chemotherapy(using drugsto kill cancer cells).
Surgery is the most common treatment of cancer of the urethra. A doctor may take out the cancer using one of the following operations:
Electrofulgurationuses an electric current to remove the cancer. The tumorand the area around it are burned away and then removed with a sharp tool. Laser therapyuses a narrow beam of intense light to kill cancer cells.
Cystourethrectomy removes the
bladderand the urethra.
In men, the part of the
In women, surgery to remove the urethra, the bladder, and the
If the urethra is removed, the doctor will need to make a new way for the
If the bladder is removed, the doctor will need to make a new way for the patient to store and pass urine. There are several ways to do this. Sometimes the doctor will use part of the
Radiation therapy uses x-rays or other high-energy rays to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors.
Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill cancer cells. Chemotherapy may be taken by mouth, or it may be put in the body through a needle in a vein or muscle. Chemotherapy is called a
Treatment by stage
Treatment depends on where the cancer is found, whether it has spread to other areas in the body, and the patient?s sex, age, and overall health.
Anterior Urethral Cancer
Treatment is different for men and women.
For women, treatment may be one of the following:
Electrofulguration. Laser therapy. Externaland/or internal radiation therapy. Radiation therapyfollowed by surgeryor surgery alone to remove the urethraand the organsin the lower pelvis(anterior exenteration), or the tumoronly, if it is small. A new way is made for urineto pass out of the body ( urinarydiversion).
For men, treatment may be one of the following:
Surgery to remove a part of the
Posterior Urethral Cancer
Treatment is different for men and women.
For women, treatment will probably be
For men, treatment will probably be radiation therapy followed by surgery or surgery alone to remove the
Urethral Cancer Associated With Invasive Bladder Cancer
Because people with
Recurrent Urethral Cancer
Treatment depends on what treatment the patient received before. If the patient had
Changes to This Summary (08/19/2005)
Links to the
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PDQ is a comprehensive cancer database available on NCI's Web site.
PDQ is the National Cancer Institute's (NCI's) comprehensive cancer information database. Most of the information contained in PDQ is available online at NCI's Web site. PDQ is provided as a service of the NCI. The NCI is part of the National Institutes of Health, the federal government's focal point for biomedical research.
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The PDQ database contains summaries of the latest published information on cancer prevention, detection, genetics, treatment, supportive care, and complementary and alternative medicine. Most summaries are available in two versions. The health professional versions provide detailed information written in technical language. The patient versions are written in easy-to-understand, nontechnical language. Both versions provide current and accurate cancer information.
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Before starting treatment, patients may want to think about taking part in a clinical trial. A clinical trial is a study to answer a scientific question, such as whether one treatment is better than another. Trials are based on past studies and what has been learned in the laboratory. Each trial answers certain scientific questions in order to find new and better ways to help cancer patients. During treatment clinical trials, information is collected about new treatments, the risks involved, and how well they do or do not work. If a clinical trial shows that a new treatment is better than one currently being used, the new treatment may become "standard."
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