Genitourinary tumors in prostate and bladder cancers

According to data from the Spanish Society of Medical Oncology, 1 out of every 4 cases of cancer in Spain are genitourinary tumors. Even so, to date, this type of tumor has survival rates of over 69%. They include prostate, bladder, kidney or testicular cancer.

Prostate cancer

What are the symptoms of prostate cancer?

The symptoms of a prostate cancer are mainly:

  • Urinary urgency or urinary blockage.
  • Pain in the pelvis.
  • Painful ejaculation.

What are the risk factors?

The exact cause of prostate cancer is not yet known, however, it has been found that 10% of cases have a hereditary component.

There also seems to be a link between prostate cancer and animal fats. In the same way, also with recurrent prostatitis.

But age would be the most important risk factor. It tends to affect men over the age of 50.

What types of treatment are currently available?

Among the treatments we find radical prostatectomy, external radiotherapy, brachytherapy and, in selected cases, specific local therapies.

But hormone therapy is currently the mainstay treatment to combat the disease. This is because male hormones (testosterone) stimulate prostate tumor cells. It is recommended in those patients with high Gleason (a grading system for the aggressiveness of prostate tumors) or a high PSA level.

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In the event that the prostate cancer progresses, chemotherapy will be tried.

How can prostate cancer be prevented?

It is very important to be able to detect the disease in time to be able to make a prognosis of the patient with sufficient time. The digital rectal examination together with the PSA blood test will be essential.

However, it is also necessary to perform a biopsy and endorectal ultrasound. Diagnostic tests such as thoracic-abdominal-pelvic CT, bone scintigraphy, magnetic resonance imaging or PET will also be options for diagnosing the disease.

Bladder cancer

What are the symptoms of prostate cancer?

The most common sign is usually hematuria (passing blood in the urine).

Other symptoms that may be present are:

  • Pain or stinging when urinating.
  • Urinary urgency
  • Pelvic or back pain.

What are the risk factors?

Tobacco use is the culprit in 50% of cases. Other risk factors are papillomavirus infections and contact with certain industrial products.

Age is also another factor, since most are diagnosed between 60 and 70 years of age.

What types of treatment are currently available?

There are multiple treatments such as surgical or chemotherapy, radiotherapy or even a combination. The treatment chosen will depend on the patient and his or her situation, and it will be decided whether or not the bladder can be preserved.

If not, a new bladder will have to be surgically created and treated with chemotherapy.
Currently, immunological therapies (stimulation of the patient’s immune system) or targeted therapies (certain molecular alteration of the tumor cell) are also recommended.