What Is Urologic Cancer?
Cancer occurs when abnormal cells grow out of control. With urologic cancer, these growths may affect the:
- Adrenal glands, which are on top of the kidneys
Urologic Cancer Care Through the Cancer Network: Why Choose Us?
Mercy Health and University of Michigan Health-West have partnered to streamline local access to comprehensive services through the Cancer Network. We also leverage the resources and expertise of University of Michigan Health Rogel Cancer Center, one of the nation’s top programs. This approach helps you receive coordinated care, so you can focus on feeling better.
Urologic cancer symptoms depend on which organ the cancer is affecting. Symptoms can include:
- Abnormal lump or swelling in a man’s testicles
- Blood in your urine
- Changes in bladder habits, such as frequent urination
- Nausea and bloating
- Pain in your low back on one side
- Unexpected weight gain
- Unusual tiredness
Cancer specialists use a variety of tests to diagnose urologic cancer. The tests that are right for you depend on your symptoms and what type of cancer may be causing them. Your care may include:
- Physical exam: For kidney cancer, we may examine your back for suspicious lumps. Physical exams are also for urologic cancers affecting male reproductive organs. Doctors check for abnormal swelling and other physical signs of cancer.
- Cystoscopy: Using a tiny camera, we examine the inside of your bladder. We insert the camera through the urethra, the opening through which urine leaves the body.
- Biopsy: Doctors take a tissue sample and examine it under a microscope. This test helps us detect cancerous cells.
- Imaging: We may use a CT scan, MRI or positron emission tomography (PET) scan to examine your organs. These tests pinpoint the precise location of the cancer and help us plan therapies.
- Blood and urine tests: We check for blood in the urine and perform blood tests to check for proteins the body produces when cancer is present.
At some of our centers, you have the option of meeting with multiple experts in a single visit. Specialists in medical, radiation and surgical oncology perform individual evaluations before discussing your care as a team. By the end of the appointment, you receive personalized recommendations and learn more about what to expect.
Your care may include:
- Surgery: These methods combine tiny instruments with real-time imaging, enabling us to carry out procedures through small incisions.
- Chemotherapy and other medical oncology: We offer the latest anticancer drugs and other substances that slow cancer cell growth. You receive therapy in peaceful infusion suites while sitting in a comfortable chair.
- Radiation Therapy: This option uses powerful X-ray energy to destroy cancer cells’ ability to multiply. Specialists use advanced technologies to deliver treatments with a high degree of precision. We guide you through a practice session before starting treatment, so you have as pleasant an experience as possible.
Cancer Network services are available at several locations across West Michigan. Each facility represents the full strength, compassion and expertise we have to offer. Our integrated approach makes it easier to receive care where you’re most comfortable — near home and loved ones.