Bladder & Kidney Cancers
Bladder cancer involves any one of the following cell carcinomas in the lining of the bladder: transitional, squamous, or adenocarcinoma. This is most common form of cancer associated with the urinary track. Bladder cancer is rare before the age of 50 and occurs more frequently in men than in women.
We, in the medical community, believe that this form of cancer takes a while to express itself as the cells in the bladder slowly change in structure and function. Some causes of bladder cancer are:
- Cigarette smoking
- Exposure to toxic chemicals in the work place
- Family history of bladder cancer.
Common symptoms include:
- Blood in the urine
- Pain in the pelvic region
- Back pressure
- Persistent fever
- Problems with urination
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, you should come to our office
for a medical examination and evaluation. A cystoscopy—the use of a thin, lighted tube that allows us to see the bladder directly—is a useful diagnostic tool for determining problems with your bladder. In order to get a definitive diagnosis for bladder cancer, we need to take a biopsy of the bladder tissue and examine the cells under a microscope.
If cancer is diagnosed, then early stage tumors may be removed surgically through the cytoscope. If we believe that the cancer is advanced, then we need to remove the entire bladder. Radiation and chemotherapy may also be used after surgery for medical management reasons. For more challenging operations, we prefer to use the da Vinci Robotic System
, which is the latest in minimally invasive surgery (MIS).
Kidney cancer is the growth of malignant cells in one or both kidneys. The two kidneys, located deep in the body at about the middle of the back, control the fluid balance in the body and filter wastes out of the blood and into the urine. The renal pelvis is the site in the kidney where the urine pools. From there, it moves through a narrow conduit and empties into the bladder. There are three main types of kidney cancer: renal cell carcinoma (RCC), transitional cell cancer (TCC), and Wilms’ tumor—which affects young children. Renal cell carcinoma accounts for 85% of all kidney cancers. Remember, only one kidney is necessary to support life. So if a kidney is cancerous and has to be removed, the other kidney takes over the function of the missing one.
Like most cancers, there is no single cause for the growth of malignant cells in the kidney. Nevertheless, there are several risk factors:
- Cigarette smoking
- Hereditary considerations
- General health problems
Symptoms include blood in the urine, abdominal pain, fever, loss of appetite, weight loss, and a general feeling of poor health.
Diagnosis begins with a detailed family history and a complete physical examination. Part of the exam has us press on your abdomen to feel for any unusual solid masses. Urine is tested for blood and the presence of cancer cells. An x-ray of the kidney is taken, as well as ultrasound, CT scans, and an MRI. The point of these imaging tests is to determine the nature of the abnormality of the kidney and to see the extent of the cancer. Chest x-rays and bone scans may be ordered to check for distant cancer sites.
The most effective form of treatment is the surgical removal of the kidney. Radiation and chemotherapy may be used to destroy cancer cells at surgical margins. Immunotherapy may also be used for medical management.
David B. Samadi, M.D
Chairman of Urology, Chief of Robotic Surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital, and Professor of Urology at Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine in New York City.
Over 5,600 Prostate Surgeries Performed to Date
Dr. Samadi is one of the very few urologic surgeons in the United States trained in oncology, open, laparoscopic, and robotic surgery. He is also the first surgeon in the United States to successfully perform a robotic surgery redo. To date, Dr. Samadi has performed over 5,600 prostate surgeries. This is more than any other prostate cancer surgeon in all of New York.
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