Genitourinary Cancer

If you have a type of genitourinary cancer, you’re not alone. Every year, hundreds of thousands of Americans find out they have cancer in their urinary tract or a reproductive organ.

Like most cancer patients, you probably feel worried. And if your cancer is in an organ responsible for urination or sperm production, your anxiety may increase.

At Mercy, you’ll find an experienced team that understands your fears. We'll answer all your questions. And we’ll do everything we can to get rid of your cancer, while preserving your long-term quality of life.

Types of Genitourinary Cancer

The “genitourinary tract” is a complex name. It refers to the organs, glands and tubes that make up our urinary and reproductive systems. Some of these body parts have dual roles. In men, the penis and urethra have both urinary and reproductive functions.

When cancer strikes this area of the body, it is usually named for the specific organ or gland where it began. Genitourinary cancers include:

Genitourinary Cancer Treatment at Mercy

Mercy’s cancer team treats all forms of genitourinary cancer. This includes rare or advanced varieties that need aggressive care. Just as important, our caregivers treat our patients with warmth, compassion and respect.

Your treatment strategy will depend on several factors. These include the location of your cancer, and whether we caught it at an early or late stage. Your doctor may recommend you have one or more types of treatment, including:

  • Medication, including chemotherapy, hormone therapy, targeted therapy or immunotherapy.
  • Radiation treatments, including brachytherapy or external beam radiation therapy.
  • Surgery to remove cancerous tissue or an entire organ. This may include the use of minimally invasive surgery using state of the art robotic technology.
  • Minimally invasive procedures that can freeze cancer cells (cryoablation) or kill them with heat (radiofrequency ablation).
  • Active surveillance, also known as watchful waiting. This is an option for some patients with low risk or slow growing prostate or kidney cancer.

It’s normal to have conflicting feelings about your treatment options. While you’re eager to put cancer behind you, you may have concerns about the side effects of treatment. Patients often ask whether they can live without their bladder, or if prostate cancer treatments affect sexual performance.

We can’t guarantee a recovery free of side effects. But we can promise to take your concerns into consideration when crafting your care plan. For example, we offer advanced radiation therapy that targets cancer while sparing adjacent organs. This technology allows us to treat your cancer faster, with fewer side effects, and better success rates. At Mercy, we use fertility sparing treatments whenever possible, because your future dreams matter to us.

Throughout your journey, you’ll find an abundance of care and support. Whether you need a skilled surgeon or a dose of reassurance, you can take comfort knowing your Mercy team will provide it.

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