The genitourinary tract is made up of the:
- tubes that connect these organs (the ureters)
- the tube that drains urine from the bladder to the outside (the urethra)
Genitourinary cancers are those that develop on the penis or in the adrenal glands.
The adrenal glands are small hormone-producing glands located on the top of each kidney.
In women, cancers that develop in the ovaries, the uterus, the cervix, or the vagina are in a separate category of cancers called gynaecological cancers.
Bladder (urothelial) cancer
Urothelial cells are those that line the tube connecting the kidneys to the bladder (ureters) as well as the bladder itself.
These cells can become cancerous from the kidneys to the bladder. Cancer can develop when the cells’ DNA is damaged by waste chemicals in the urine.
Most cancers are found in the bladder, where the urine has the longest contact with the lining urothelial cells. They can cause bleeding in the urine.
Thankfully, most bladder cancers are found early - before they invade deeply or spread. This type of cancer can be treated with surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
The kidneys help to remove waste products from the body. They also help to control blood formation and fluid balances.
Kidney cancer is rare before age 50, but risk does increase with age.
Doctors are able to predict how a kidney cancer will develop more accurately when compared with prostate cancer. Usually, the kidney containing cancer can be completely removed (unless it has spread).
Prostate cancer - Click here for Prostate Cancer specific treatment details
The prostate gland is located in a man’s pelvis underneath the bladder, and it’s role is to support the reproductive process.
When men turn 50, their risk for developing prostate cancer begins to rise.
If prostate cancer is found before it has spread (or ‘metastasised’), treatments including surgery, radiation therapy and hormone therapy - either individually or together – can help to provide a cure.
Testicles have two functions in men:
- Produce sperm for reproduction, and
- Make male hormone
Testicular cancer means the cells that make sperm have become cancerous.
All men who develop testicular cancer are born with an abnormality on their 12th chromosome.
Testicular cancer is very rare before puberty and after age 65.
There are five different subtypes of testicular cancer, and treatments almost always require surgery to remove the testicle that has the cancer. People with testicular cancer may also need chemotherapy and radiation therapy – both of which can have the potential to cure even advanced cases that have spread in the body.