The urinary and reproductive tracts are closely linked, and disorders of one often affect the other. Urologic oncology concerns the surgical treatment of malignant genitourinary diseases such as cancer of the prostate, adrenal glands, bladder, kidneys, ureters, testicles, and penis. In the Urologic Oncology practice there are also patients with non-inherited as well as inherited forms of kidney cancer, including von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) disease, hereditary papillary renal carcinoma (HPRC), Birt-Hogg-Dube (BHD) syndrome, hereditary leiomyomatosis renal cell carcinoma (HLRCC) and succinate dehydrogenase deficient kidney cancers.
Steps taken :
The treatment of genitourinary cancer is managed by either an urologist or an oncologist, depending on the treatment type (surgical or medical). Most urologic oncologists use minimally invasive techniques (laparoscopy or endourology surgery) to manage urologic cancers. The treatment includes radiation, chemotherapy and surgical intervention as may be required. In terminal cases, removal of kidney is the major surgical option. Genitourinary cancers affect both the sexes. These cancers could be localised or well advanced with spread to other tissues and organ systems.
These types of surgeries are highly skilled surgeries and can be performed only in the institutions with support systems in terms of infrastructure and trained team of specialists. Early and precise diagnosis and staging of GU cancer is crucial to for successful treatment. The highly specialised and skilled radiation oncologists and pathologists help to pinpoint the location and extent of the cancer using highly specialised techniques such as PET (positron emission tomography), MRI (magnetic resonance) scans, High-resolution CT (computed tomography) scans, CT urogram and transrectal ultrasound Minimally invasive surgeries including laser, cryosurgical, laparoscopic procedures, radiotherapy, chemotherapy and Surgical reconstruction are the treatment options. All these procedures are performed under general anaesthesia and being cancer there are multiple pre and post treatment modalities. Patient will need to be hospitalised till there is good recovery, healing following an open surgery and other parameters are stabilised. During the hospital, utmost care will, be taken to minimise any infection and utmost post-operative care is provided.
The cancerous growth onto the genitourinary system needs careful handling and long term treatment. Minimal invasive surgeries reduce blood loss, fewer hospitalisation days for the patient.
Before planning the procedure it is important to inform the doctor of medicines that the patient is consuming including dietary supplements, herbs, non-prescription medicines etc. Blood thinning medicines if being prescribed to you will be stopped before the surgery to reduce the chances of bleeding. Other physiological parameters must be stable before undergoing the procedure. Before procedure the patient has to follow overnight fast and abstain from eating and drinking fluids. Only a sip of water is allowed. After the procedure, patient will be under observation in the recovery room for up to about 2 hours. The possible risks include bleeding, infections, post-operative complications etc. The cancer surgeon and cancer physicians will monitor the patient and provide the next course of action. There are no direct side-effects of the surgery but, as the patient is on cancer medication, the immunity could be low and there are chances of post-operative infections. Patients should refrain once home from undertaking any excessive physical activities, lifting load etc. and must remain in rest and allow body to recuperate. The medication, diet and rest will aid healing and recovery. For any medical problems such as pain, vomiting, nausea, fainting, do not treat on your own and consult the doctor immediately.
Do all genitourinary cancers need a surgery?
The choice of treatment is dependent on the span of the malignant growth onto the genitourinary system and its effects on the normal functioning of the organs.
What is the usual treatment period for such cancers?
These types of cancers need long-term treatment and follow up.
Can the cancerous kidney be donated?
No; only healthy kidneys can be donated.
What are the different genito-urinary cancers?
Bladder cancer, Kidney cancer, Penile cancer, Prostate cancer , Testicular cancer and Von Hippel Lindau disease (VHL) are different types of cancers of the genito-urinary tract.
Can the patient lead normal life after removal of the cancerous kidney?
Yes; if the other kidney of the patient is normal and function, patient can lead normal life. Patient should always undertake periodic medical check-up and follow doctor’s advice to maintain good health of the functional kidney.
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