Urethral Cancer

Urethral cancer is a rare type of disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the urethra which is responsible for moving urine from the bladder to be excreted. The male and female urethras differ quite a bit. The female urethra is just over an inch long, and the male urethra is about 8 inches long and has a number of other functions.

Urethral cancer is more common in women than men. There are different types of urethral cancer

Urethral cancer is known for its ability to spread rapidly to tissues around the urethra and early diagnosis is difficult with this type of cancer.

Risk Factors and Causes

Increased age is a risk factor for urethral cancer. Family history of having this type of cancer is also a risk factor. Chronic previous inflammation in the urethra is also a cause of developing this cancer. Some of the causes of inflammation are STDs, urinary tract infections (UTIs), and a history of urinary tract problems.

Possible signs of urethral cancer are

Urethral Cancer Tests

Testing includes examining the body for physical symptoms like any skin color changes or bumps. There are a number of lab tests that are usually done like blood tests or urine tests.

Other tests are urine cytology to check for abnormal cells, rectal exams to feel for lumps in the area, pelvic tests, tissue biopsies, and various urine culture tests.

As with other cancers, early diagnosis is vital before the cancer is allowed to spread. Staging is a process that helps the doctors find out whether the cancer has spread and if so - how much. The staging process checks nearby organs and lymph nodes for signs of spreading cancer.

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