CANCER- Cancer is abnormal growth of cells. As normal cells grow and multiply beyond normal control, they form a tumour (an area of abnormal cells). With the rapid production of cells, the tumour grows in size. The growing tumour encroaches on the space of the surrounding tissues and blocks or takes up the nutrients and oxygen, essential for their survival and functioning. All the tumours are not cancerous. Only the malignant tumours are cancerous and life threatening, as they may invade the remote organs through the bloodstream or the lymphatic system.
The cancers which are most common of the urinary tract are-
a) Bladder cancer
b) Kidney cancer
c) Penile cancer
d) Prostate cancer
e) Renal pelvis and ureter cancer
f) Testicular cancer
g) Urethral cancer
Bladder cancer- The bladder is made of different types of cells. The most cancer prone cells are the cells, lining the inside of the bladder wall. The cancer caused by these cells is called “Urothelial Carcinoma” or “Transitional Cell Carcinoma.”This is the most common type of bladder cancer in the United States and accounts for more than 90% of all bladder cancers. The cancer originating from the thin and flat cells, formation of which is caused due to the inflammation of the bladder, is known as “Squamous Cell Carcinoma”. “Ademocarcinoma” is the cancer that is formed from the cells that make up the glands (glands produce and release mucus and other fluids).
The cause of bladder cancer is not certain, however, heavy smoking, chemical exposure and food containing excessive animal fat and fried meat have been identified to be the major causes, that lead to bladder cancer. The recurrence rate of bladder cancer is 50% to 80%.
a) Blood in the urine
b) Pain or burning sensation while urinating
c) Urge to urinate often, without producing much urine at a time
Often there is no symptom, in the early stage. It is in the advanced stage that symptoms occur.
Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) and urothelial cell carcinoma (UCC) are the two most common types of carcinoma. About 80% of the primary renal cancers are caused due to RCC. Majority of the rest 20% are caused due to UCC. Kidney cancer may also be secondary, as metastasis (rapid and abnormal multiplication of cells) can be caused due to a primary cancer located elsewhere in the body.
Kidney cancers that originate in the renal tubule are called “Renal cell carcinoma”. Kidney cancers that originate in the renal pelvis are called “Urothelial carcinoma” (UCC) or “Transitional cell carcinoma”.
a) Blood in the urine
c) Loss of weight
d) Heavy sweating
e) High fever
f) Persistent pain in the abdomen
g) Loss of appetite
h) Lump in the abdomen
In the early stages, a person may not show or experience any symptom.
The risk of kidney cancer is more for those people who smoke, use NSAIDs regularly, are obese, are infected with Hepatitis C, had previous treatment for cervical cancer or testicular cancer, have high blood pressure.
Cancer of the penis is called “Penile cancer.”It is very rare.
a) Pain in the penis
b) Rash on the penis
c) Sore or tumour in the penis
d) Change in colour of the penis
e) Redness of the penis
f) Discharge from the penis that smells foul
g) Bleeding in the penis
h) Phimosis (the foreskin fails to retract fully over the penis glan)
Prostate is a gland that is found only in male reproductive system. Prostate cancer is a form of cancer that develops in the prostate.
a) Problem in sexual function
b) Bone pain (ribs, spine or pelvis)
c) Frequent and painful urination
d) Nocturia (frequent urination in the night)
Cancer that develops in the testicles is called Testicular cancer. It has the highest rate of cure of all form of cancers.
a) A lump in one testes with or without pain
b) Pain in the scrotum
c) Sharp or dull ache in the lower abdomen
d) Heaviness of scrotum
e) Enlargement of breasts
f) Pain in the lower back
Originating from the urethra, it is a very rare form of cancer
a) Weak flow or interrupted flow of urine
b) Frequent urination
c) Thickening of penis
d) Blood in the urine
Consequences- Any form of cancer of the urinary tract, if ignored and left untreated can be fatal, as it can spread to other parts of the body creating further problems, leading to a painful death.
Recommendations- Many of the symptoms of cancer of the urinary tract are symptoms of other diseases too. A competent medical practitioner should be contacted and thorough check up should be done before coming to any conclusion. Avoid animal fats and fried meat in the diet. Quit smoking, have a healthy sex life, avoid chemical exposure, avoid prolong use of NSAIDs, act as advised by the competent medical advisor.