What is Genitourinary(GU) cancer?
Genitourinary cancer is a field of oncology that focuses on cancers that are developed in the male GU tract. The GU tract consists of several organs related to the urinary system, reproductive system, and adrenal glands. Major organs of the urinary system include kidneys, urethra, ureters, bladder. Major organs of the reproductive system are the prostate gland, testicles, penis.
Cancer may happen in any of these organs when a cell grows abnormally and out of control. Some types of Genitourinary cancer are discussed below:
- Prostate cancer: Prostate cancer is described as cancer that involves the prostate gland. The prostate gland is located underneath the bladder and supports the reproductive system. Malignant tumors grow in the cells that make up most of the seminal fluid. It typically affects men over 50 years. It is also known as the silent killer as it doesn’t show symptoms. More advanced symptoms of prostate cancer are:
- Frequent and urgent urination, especially at night
- Weak or nonexistence flow while urinating
- Painful or burning urination
- Traces of blood in semen and urine
- Difficulty having an erection and decreased or painful ejaculation
- For Pain in the back, pelvis, or hips
According to the symptoms, age, and overall health, the treatment of prostate cancer involves:
- Hormone therapy
- Biologic therapy
- Cryotherapy (that freezes prostate tissue)
- Bladder cancer: Bladder cancer usually begins in the cells in the inner lining of the bladder. It is more common in men than in women and generally affects men over the age of 55.
The main symptom of bladder cancer is blood in the urine, also called hematuria. However, experiencing bloody urine may also be a sign of something less serious like UTI, kidney stones, or some other benign disease.
Other early symptoms may be:
- Frequent and urgent urination
- Trouble in urinating
- Extreme pain on one side of the body
- Painful and burning urination
If cancer is diagnosed in an early stage, treatment strategies consist of surgery which is then followed by chemotherapy inside the bladder (known as intravesical chemotherapy). For later stages of bladder cancer, treatment options include surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy throughout the body or combining these treatments.
- Kidney cancer: It is also known as renal cancer. It typically affects older men. The main symptom of kidney cancer is also the same as bladder cancer.
- Testicular cancer: This cancer is the rarest type of cancer and the easiest to detect because it is often accompanied by a lump in the scrotum or inflammation.
Penile cancer and Adrenal cancer: These are the least common cancers. Penile cancer brings physical changes to the penis and discharges under the foreskin. Adrenal cancer is diagnosed in two ways – (i) hormonal changes or (ii) pain from a large tumor pushing into nearby organs.