Urological cancer threatens to spread

Urological cancer threatens to spread

Metastasis, or metastatic cancer, is a cancer that has spread from its original location to another part of the body. According to the National Cancer Institute, it is often used as a descriptive term for a tumor that has formed by metastatic cancer cells. However, the term also can be used to describe the process by which cancer spreads to other parts of the body.

Although the cancer may spread to other parts of the body that are also prone to cancer, metastatic cancer still has the same type of cancer cells and the same name as the original cancer. For example, bladder cancer that spreads to the prostate would be properly referred to as metastatic bladder cancer, as opposed to prostate cancer.

The University of California San Francisco Medical Center explains that urological cancers, including cancer of the bladder, kidney, prostate, and testicles, are all relatively common. Studies have shown that prostate cancer is the most common cancer in American men, with one out of every 10 men developing the disease later in life.

The medical center also reports that bladder cancer is the fourth most common cancer among men and the ninth most common among women in the United States. More than 50,000 new cases of bladder cancer are diagnosed every year. Although these cancers are prevalent, the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute reports that only 5 percent of people have metastases when their bladder cancer is discovered.

Testicular cancer is the most common among American men between the ages of 15 and 44. Although the cancer is common and highly serious, it is often one of the least mentioned cancers, because of the denial and embarrassment that tends to come with the disease. However, the severity of the case should not be overlooked.

According to The American Cancer Society, approximately 6,900 American men are diagnosed with testicular cancer each year, and an estimated 300 men die from the disease in the same time frame. Although metastatic testicular cancer can be more difficult to treat than a benign tumor, it still has a relatively high cure rate among cancers.

Symptoms among the various types of urological cancer will vary according to the specific disease and its severity. According to the Mayo Clinic, symptoms for bladder cancer include:

  • Blood in the urine
  • Frequent urination
  • Painful urination
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Abdominal pain
  • Back pain

Prostate cancer symptoms include:

  • Trouble urinating
  • Decreased force in the stream of urine
  • Blood in the urine
  • Blood in the semen
  • Swelling in the legs
  • Discomfort in the pelvic region
  • Bone pain

If you have exhibited any of the symptoms listed, it's important to talk to your Cincinnati urologist about receiving a screening for urological cancer. Identifying the disease early is one of the most effective ways to prevent metastasis.

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