What Is Cancer? Urologic Cancers

Human body is made up of different cells. Cells combine to form tissues and they unite to form organs. Each organ is composed of different types of cell. Cells proliferate according to the requirements of the body and they are cleared away within a programmed regulation. However, sometimes cells continue to proliferate in an uncontrolled manner with no benefit for the body and form a kind of bulk in the involved organ. These masses are referred to ‘tumor’.

Tumors may be in good – benign – or they may be of bad nature – malignant – and these malignant tumors are named as cancer. Cancers are named after the organ they originate, i.e. if a cancer originates from kidney it is named as Kidney Cancer; a cancer originating from prostate is called a Prostate Cancer. Biologic behavior of cancers is different from each other, some grow slowly causing less harm while some are very aggressive and threaten one’s life in short time.

In urology, a term ‘Grade’ is specified in pathology reports of diagnostic biopsies or excised organs. This term denotes the aggression of the cancer: thus, ‘low grade’ states a relatively less aggressive cancer with a slow course whereas ‘high grade’ means a very aggressive cancer that has a rapid course.

What Is Uro-Oncology?

Uro-oncology is a sub-speciality in urology dealing with management and surgery of cancers of adrenal glands, kidneys, ureters, bladder in male and female patients and cancers of prostate and testicles in both men.

Modern medical sciences intend exact diagnosis of diseases as early as possible with utilization of appropriate means and offer the best management modalities.

Down below all urologic organs are represented:

Figure 1. Urinary system organs in the male

Delay and imperfection in diagnosis and proper management of urologic cancers affect directly patients’ survival and quality of life. Accordingly, when dealing with urologic cancers, urologists who are specially trained in uro-oncology and well experienced in oncologic surgery is crucial in order to have a higher life expectancy and better quality of life.

There are 3 goals in management of urologic cancers:

  • Surgical treatment of an early diagnosed (Cancer is yet limited in the organ it originated) disease with removal of the entire cancerous tissue; that is reported as ‘negative surgical margins’ in the pathologic assessment of the removed specimen
  • Try to maintain a better ‘quality of life’.
  • Routine medical care