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Urological Oncology

What is Urological Oncology?

Urological oncology is a sub-speciality of oncology that deals with cancer related to Urological organs. The different organs that come under this sub-speciality include:

  • Kidney
  • Prostate
  • Bladder
  • Adrenal gland
  • Testis
  • Penis

What is Cancer?

Cells are the basic building blocks of human tissue and organs. Cancer is a disease that results from abnormal uncontrolled growth and division of cells. Under normal circumstances, cells reproduce in an orderly fashion to replace old cells, maintain tissue health and repair injuries. However, when growth control is lost and cells divide too much and too fast, a cellular mass -or “tumour”- or cancer is formed.

Can we cure cancer?

Majority of the cancers can be cured if they are caught in early stages. This is especially true with respect to testicular and prostate cancers, which can be cured in almost 99% of the patients if caught early. However, the treatment needs to be a delivered through a multi-disciplinary team comprising of specialists from medical and radiation oncologists along with specialist cancer surgeons. There is is very good evidence to indicate that cancer outcomes are better from larger cancer treatment centres compared to individual small practices.

What are the symptoms of Urological cancer?

Haematuria: Presence of blood in the urine is one of the cardinal symptom of urological cancers. This could be blood that is visible to the naked eye or blood in the urine picked up on urine testing.

Urinary symptoms: Presence of urinary symptoms indicated a problem of either the bladder or the prostate gland. The symptoms include going to the toilet to pass urine frequently, needing to strain to pass urine, need to rush to the toilet to pass urine or urinary leakage.

Pain: Pain in the loin area (on either side of the backbone between the ribcage and hip bone) can be indicative of problem with the kidneys. Pain in the lower part of the abdomen, below the umbilicus which radiates to the penis or the testicles is an indication of problem with the prostate or bladder.

Feeling of a lump: Any lump (mass/growth) that is easily felt anywhere in the body needs a specialist doctors review and further investigations. Cancers related to urological organs can cause a palpable mass either in the loin area, lower abdomen or in the testicles. Any lump in the testicle needs urgent specialist review.

Non-healing ulcer on penis: All ulcers on the penis need review and further investigation by a specialist to rule out a cancer.

Urgent/Emergency symptoms: Patients who have sudden onset of back pain, which is not controlled with normal painkillers with/without weakness or unsteadiness in the legs, loss of control over either motions or urine should seek urgent clinical advice. These symptoms can be caused by compression of spinal cord by cancer spread to the spinal canal and these patients need emergency treatment.

What are the advantages of Precision oncology at Apollo:

The principle objective of the urological oncology team is to deliver a high quality precision oncology in a compassionate manner. The team comprises of diagnostic doctors (Radiology and histopathology), medical and radiation oncologists and organ specific cancer surgeons working in collaboration as a team and delivering state of art treatment as a standard of care. The holistic needs of the patient are taken into account before the tumour board discussion to device patient specific treatment plans.

The advanced technologies that are available at Apollo Cancer Institutes, Jubilee hills, Hyderabad that help the team deliver high quality precision cancer care include

  • PSMA PET CT: For precision in Prostate cancer staging
  • PET CT: For precision in urological cancer staging
  • Tomotherapy: For precision in delivery of radiotherapy
  • da Vinci Si Robot: For precision in cancer surgery
  • Liquid Biopsy: For precision in diagnosis

In spite of all the technical advances, it is always the man/women behind the machine or the doctor who is operating the machine or robot who determines the outcome for the patient. At Apollo cancer institutes, we have highly qualified senior personnel involved at every step of decision-making, planning and delivery of treatment to ensure high quality of care is ensured as a standard.