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What is urinary tract tumour?

A urinary tract tumour is when cells anywhere in the urinary tract begin to grow abnormally instead of growing and dividing in an orderly way. These cells develop mutations that cause them to divide and grow rapidly out of control and not die, which leads to tumours. In the process, these abnormal cells continue to grow and live while the normal cells die.

Possible Causes: 

When cells in the urinary tract begin to grow abnormally instead of growing and dividing in an orderly way and develop mutations that cause them to grow out of control and not die, they develop into a tumour.

Mutations in the abnormal cells’ DNA cause them to divide and grow more rapidly than normal. The abnormal cells continue living while normal cells die. The abnormal cells can grow to invade nearby tissue and some can break off and spread to other parts of the body too.

Risk Factors: 

Factors that increase the risk of urinary tract tumours are:

  • Age: Risk of urinary tract tumours increases with age.
  • Family history: If you have a family history of prostate or breast cancer, your risk of a urinary tract tumour may be higher.
  • Smoking. 
  • Obesity: People who are obese have a higher risk of urinary tract tumours than those who are average weight.
  • High blood pressure.
  • Exposure to certain substances: Being around certain chemicals may increase the chances of urinary tract tumours.

Signs & Symptoms: 

Urinary tract tumours are silent and painless, but the early symptoms are blood in the urine, which is alarming, and you must visit a urologist in case you suffer from this symptom. Later stages include pain in the lover back and pelvic area. 

There are different kinds of tumours which can affect the kidneys, prostate, urethra, penis and the testes. Other symptoms of urinary tract tumours include:

  • Trouble and urinating.
  • Blood in semen.
  • Bone pain.
  • Erectile dysfunction.
  • Decreased force while urinating.
  • Pelvic area discomfort.
  • Blood in urine which may appear pink, red or dark red coloured.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Weight loss. 

Diagnosis: 

If you have any of the symptoms above, you must visit our specialists at Medcare to investigate and diagnose your symptoms. Specialists will ask about your medical history and do a physical exam including pelvic and rectal exam. Your doctor will advise blood tests and urine samples to look for abnormal cells.

A biopsy, where cells from the urethra, bladder and other urinary tract organs are taken and studied under a microscope to see if they are cancerous. A cystoscopy could also be suggested, where a tool called a cystoscope is used to examine the inside of the inside of the urethra. 

If cells are found to be cancerous, more tests will be required to study if the cancer has spread to different parts of your body, like X-rays, CT scans of the pelvis and abdomen or MRI tests of the pelvis.

Treatment Options: 

Urinary tract tumours detected during early stages may be treated with the help of radiation or chemotherapy, either with or without surgery to kill the cancer cells. However, most often, surgery might be required depending on where the cancer is located. 

Sometimes doctors can get rid of the condition just by removing the tumour. Other times, some parts of your urinary tract might need to be taken out depending on where the cancer is, like the bladder or the urethra. The vagina or part of the penis might also be removed depending on where the cancer is and can be later reconstructed with plastic surgery.

Active surveillance will be used to monitor the cancer, which means instead of being treated immediately, your doctor will perform tests to see if the cancer gets worse. If it does, a treatment plan will be developed.

FAQs: الأسئلة الشائعة:
  • Does a particular diet help reduce the risk of urinary tract tumours?

    A: Choose a diet rich in a variety of fruits and vegetables. The antioxidants in fruits and vegetables may help reduce the risk of urinary tract tumours.

  • Does frequent ejaculation minimise the risk of urinary tract tumours?

    A: There is no conclusive evidence that frequent ejaculation reduces the risk of prostate cancer.

  • What are the different stages that most cancers and tumours are grouped by?

    A: Most cancers and grouped by a stage, a description which helps planning treatment, the stages are based on: 

    • The location and size of the tumour.
    • The extent to which lymph nodes are affected.
    • The degree to which the cancer and tumour is spread, if at all, to other tissues and organs.
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