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Urologic Conditions & Disorders

Access patient information about disorders of the genitourinary tract from reliable resources including the National Institutes of Health, the American Cancer Society, and the Food and Drug Administration.

Screening and Testing – General Information

Interpreting Laboratory Test Results
A laboratory test is a medical procedure in which a sample of blood, urine, or other tissues or substances in the body is checked for certain features. Such tests are often used as part of a routine checkup to identify possible changes in a person's health before any symptoms appear. Laboratory tests also play an important role in diagnosis when a person has symptoms. In addition, tests may be used to help plan a patient's treatment, evaluate the response to treatment, or monitor the course of the disease over time. (more)

Tumor Markers: Questions and Answers
Tumor markers are substances produced by tumor cells or by other cells of the body in response to cancer or certain benign (noncancerous) conditions. These substances can be found in the blood, in the urine, in the tumor tissue, or in other tissues. Different tumor markers are found in different types of cancer, and levels of the same tumor marker can be altered in more than one type of cancer. In addition, tumor marker levels are not altered in all people with cancer, especially if the cancer is early stage. Some tumor marker levels can also be altered in patients with noncancerous conditions. (more)

Proteomics and Cancer
This fact sheet describes proteomics (the study of proteins and how they respond to the needs of the body or in disease). This research may lead to new ways to diagnose cancer and identify the best treatments for individual patients. (more)

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Disorders of the Urinary Bladder

Anatomy of the Urinary System
The organs, tubes, muscles, and nerves that work together to create, store, and carry urine are the urinary system. The urinary system includes two kidneys, two ureters, the bladder, two sphincter muscles, and the urethra. (more)

Hematuria (Blood in the Urine)
Hematuria is the presence of red blood cells (RBCs) in the urine. In microscopic hematuria, the urine appears normal to the naked eye, but examination with a microscope shows a high number of RBCs. Gross hematuria can be seen with the naked eye—the urine is red or the color of cola. (more)

Bladder and Other Urothelial Cancers Screening
In the United States, bladder cancer occurs more often in men than in women, and more often in whites than in blacks. As the U.S. population has gotten older, the number of people diagnosed with bladder cancer has increased, but the number of deaths from bladder cancer has decreased. This is true for men and women of all races over the last 30 years. (more)

Bladder Cancer
Cancer that forms in tissues of the bladder (the organ that stores urine). Most bladder cancers are transitional cell carcinomas (cancer that begins in cells that normally make up the inner lining of the bladder). Other types include squamous cell carcinoma (cancer that begins in thin, flat cells) and adenocarcinoma (cancer that begins in cells that make and release mucus and other fluids). The cells that form squamous cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma develop in the inner lining of the bladder as a result of chronic irritation and inflammation. (more)

What You Need to Know About Bladder Cancer
This National Cancer Institute (NCI) booklet has important information about cancer of the bladder. Each year in the United States, bladder cancer is diagnosed in 38,000 men and 15,000 women. This is the fourth most common type of cancer in men and the eighth most common in women. (more)

Consumer Information – The UroVysion™ Bladder Cancer Kit
The UroVysion™ Bladder Cancer Kit is a lab test used to help doctors diagnose bladder cancer in patients who have blood in their urine, and to monitor patients already known to have bladder cancer. (more)

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Disorders of the Prostate

Early Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer forms in the tissues of the prostate. Except for skin cancer, cancer of the prostate is the most common cancer in American men. It was estimated that more than 186,000 men in the United States would be diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2008. In most men with prostate cancer, the disease grows very slowly. The majority of men with low-grade, early prostate cancer (which means that cancer cells have been found only in the prostate gland) live a long time after their diagnosis. (more)

Treatment Choices for Men With Early-Stage Prostate Cancer
This booklet's purpose is to help you learn about early-stage prostate cancer, current treatments, and the pros and cons of each treatment. But most men will need more information than this booklet gives to reach their decisions. (more)

Prostate Cancer
Cancer that forms in tissues of the prostate (a gland in the male reproductive system found below the bladder and in front of the rectum). Prostate cancer usually occurs in older men. (more)

Prostate Cancer Screening
Screening is looking for cancer before a person has any symptoms. This can help find cancer at an early stage. When abnormal tissue or cancer is found early, it may be easier to treat. By the time symptoms appear, cancer may have begun to spread. (more)

What You Need to Know About Prostate Cancer
This National Cancer Institute (NCI) booklet is about cancer of the prostate. Each year, more than 186,000 American men learn they have this disease. Prostate cancer is the second most common type of cancer among men in this country. Only skin cancer is more common. (more)

Gleason Score
A Gleason Score is a system of grading prostate cancer tissue based on how it looks under a microscope. (more)

Prostate Cancer Gene 3 (PCA3) Test
Prostate cancer gene 3 (PCA3) is a new gene-based test carried out on a urine sample. PCA3 is highly specific to PCA and, therefore, in contrast to PSA, not increased by conditions such as benign enlargement or inflammation of the prostate. (more)

Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) Test
Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) is a protein produced by cells of the prostate gland. The PSA test measures the level of PSA in the blood. The doctor takes a blood sample, and the amount of PSA is measured in a laboratory. Because PSA is produced by the body and can be used to detect disease, it is sometimes called a biological marker or a tumor marker. (more)

Medical Tests for Prostate Problems
Different prostate problems have similar symptoms. For example, one man with prostatitis and another with BPH may both have a frequent, urgent need to urinate. Other men with BPH may have different symptoms. For example, one man may have trouble beginning a stream of urine, while another may have to get up to go to the bathroom frequently at night. A man in the early stages of prostate cancer may have no symptoms at all. This confusing array of symptoms makes a thorough medical examination and testing very important. Diagnosing the problem may require a series of tests. (more)

Prostate Enlargement: Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia
It is common for the prostate gland to become enlarged as a man ages. Doctors call this condition benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), or benign prostatic hypertrophy. (more)

Prostatitis is a frequently painful condition that affects mostly young and middle-aged men. Doctors may have difficulty diagnosing prostatitis because the symptoms are not the same for every patient, and many of the symptoms—such as painful or burning urination and incomplete emptying of the bladder—could be signs of another disease. (more)

Understanding Prostate Changes: A Health Guide for Men
The booklet can help answer your questions about prostate changes, such as: What are common prostate changes? How are these changes treated? What do I need to know about testing for prostate changes, including cancer? (more)

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Disorders of the Kidney

The Kidneys and How They Work
The kidneys are a pair of vital organs that perform many functions to keep the blood clean and chemically balanced. Understanding how the kidneys work can help a person keep them healthy. (more)

Kidney Biopsy
A biopsy is a diagnostic test that involves collecting small pieces of tissue, usually through a needle, for examination with a microscope. A kidney biopsy can help in forming a diagnosis and in choosing the best course of treatment. A kidney biopsy may be recommended for any of the following conditions: hematuria, which is blood in the urine; proteinuria, which is excessive protein in the urine; and impaired kidney function, which causes excessive waste products in the blood. (more)

Simple Kidney Cysts
A cyst is a closed pocket or pouch of tissue that can form anywhere in the body. Cysts can be filled with air or fluid. Cysts that form on the kidneys usually contain fluid. One or more cysts may develop on small tubes in the kidneys. The simple kidney cyst is different from the cysts that develop when a person has polycystic kidney disease, which is a genetic disease. Although its cause is not fully understood, the simple cyst is not an inherited condition. Simple kidney cysts become more common as people age. Nearly 30 percent of people over the age of 70 have at least one simple kidney cyst. (more)

General Information About Renal Cell Cancer
Renal cell cancer (also called kidney cancer or renal adenocarcinoma) is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells are found in the lining of tubules (very small tubes) in the kidney. There are 2 kidneys, one on each side of the backbone, above the waist. The tiny tubules in the kidneys filter and clean the blood, taking out waste products and making urine. The urine passes from each kidney into the bladder through a long tube called a ureter. The bladder stores the urine until it is passed from the body. (more)

General Information About Transitional Cell Cancer of the Renal Pelvis and Ureter
Transitional cell cancer of the renal pelvis and ureter is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the renal pelvis and ureter. (more)

What You Need To Know About Kidney Cancer
This National Cancer Institute (NCI) booklet has important information about cancer of the kidney. It discusses possible causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment. It also has information to help patients cope with kidney cancer.

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Penile Cancer

General Information About Penile Cancer
Penile cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the penis. (more)

What is Penile Cancer
Penile cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the penis. (more)

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Testicular Cancer

Do I Have Testicular Cancer?
Men who develop lumps on the genitals, testicular swelling, or pain in the groin or scrotal area may be worried they have testicular cancer. (more)

General Information About Testicular Cancer
Almost all testicular cancers start in the germ cells. The two main types of testicular germ cell tumors are seminomas and nonseminomas. These 2 types grow and spread differently and are treated differently. Nonseminomas tend to grow and spread more quickly than seminomas. Seminomas are more sensitive to radiation. A testicular tumor that contains both seminoma and nonseminoma cells is treated as a nonseminoma. (more)

Testicular Cancer: Questions and Answers
Testicular cancer is a disease in which cells become malignant (cancerous) in one or both testicles. (more)

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Coping with Cancer – General Information

Managing Physicial Effects
Manage the physical symptoms of cancer and the side effects from chemotherapy, radiation, and other treatments. Learn how to maintain proper nutrition during treatment. (more)

Managing Emotional Effects
Manage depression, anxiety, and other emotional effects, and learn how to support people with cancer. (more)

For Caregivers, Family and Friends
Information to help caregivers cope while caring for a loved one with cancer help someone with cancer cope with the illness. (more)

About Children with Cancer
Information for parents about children with cancer, as well as guides to help children and teens cope when a family member has cancer. (more)

Finding Healthcare Services
Tips for choosing a doctor or a treatment facility, healthcare options, assistance at home, and hospice care. (more)

Financial, Insurance, and Legal Information
Financial help, insurance coverage, support organizations, and end-of-life planning. (more)

Suvivorship – Living with and Beyond Cancer
Life and health after a cancer diagnosis and once treatment is over. (more)

Support and Palliative Care Clinical Trials
Clinical trials to help people cope with symptoms and side effects of cancer. (more)

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Resources for Physicians

The Han Tables
The Han Tables correlate three common factors known about a man's prostate cancer, PSA level, Gleason score, and clinical stage (or pathological stage). The Han Tables are a tool that helps predict the probability of prostate cancer recurrence up to 10 years after surgery. (more)

The Partin Tables
The Partin Tables are designed to help physicians predict the definitive pathological stage and best course of treatment for prostate cancer. Like the Han Tables, the Partin Tables correlate three aspects that are known about a man's disease – PSA level, Gleason score, and estimated clinical stage to arrive at helpful information. (more)

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