Uro-oncology deals with cancers of the kidney(s), the prostate and the urinary bladder.
The kidneys are a matched pair of vital organs, located underneath the liver and stomach, and near the backbone on either side. As the blood flows through the kidneys, urea, salt, and other substances are filtered from the blood. In this way, they help remove wastes from the body by making urine. The kidneys also serve as glands that manufacture and secrete a variety of hormones.
When cell division is not orderly, abnormal growth takes place. Masses of tissue called tumours build up. They may be benign or malignant. Benign tumours remain localized and usually do not spread or threaten one’s life. While malignant tumours are cancerous. They can invade and destroy nearby tissues and organs, or spread to other parts of the body by way of the bloodstream or the lymphatic system.
Kidney cancer is cancer occurring in the kidneys due to (a) a malignant tumour. (s)
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The prostate is a gland of the male reproductive system. It is located in front of the rectum and just below the urinary bladder. Its main function is to produce fluid for semen, which transports sperm.
Prostate cancer is a malignant tumour that begins most often in the outer part of the prostate. It may spread to the inner part of the prostate, and beyond the prostate, to other parts of the body. Prostate cancer is the seventh most common cancer in Singaporean men. Most men who get prostate cancer are 50 years of age or older, and the risk increases with age. It is usually curable when detected early, but can kill if diagnosed late or not treated effectively.
The urinary bladder is part of the urinary tract that transports and stores urine. Urine is the liquid produced by the kidneys as they remove waste and water from the blood. Urine travels from each kidney down a narrow tube, the ureter, and is stored in a balloon-like structure – the urinary bladder.
The inside, or lining, of the urinary bladder, is composed of a layer of cells that protect the tissues beneath them from contact with urine. Occasionally, these cells start to multiply uncontrollably and form a growth or a tumor. When found and treated in the early stages, cancerous bladder tumors are not likely to be life-threatening. In addition, the treatment of most of these tumours does not require the removal of the urinary bladder. Prompt medical attention and regular checkups are necessary to treat bladder tumours and to monitor for new growths.
Bladder cancer is unusual in people under 40 years of age. Men are affected 5 times more often than women, and cigarette smokers have an increased risk of developing bladder cancer. Exposure to certain chemicals in the workplace has also been associated with an increased risk of developing bladder cancer.