Treatment

Your doctors will tell you about the benefits, risks and side-effects of the treatments being offered.

Each person is different and your surgery and/or treatment will be tailored to your needs and discussed fully with you before proceeding.  Throughout your care, procedures, surgery and treatment will not be carried without your consent.

There are a number of treatments that can be used to treat urological cancers:

  • surgery
  • chemotherapy
  • radiotherapy
  • other treatments

Before any sort of treatment is given by a doctor, patients must give their consent. This is an important process to make sure patients understand their treatment.

The treatment for each urological cancer is different:

Bladder cancer

Treatments usually differ between early stage, non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer and more advanced muscle-invasive bladder cancer.

For many patients with bladder cancer, surgery is the most appropriate treatment.  Surgically removing the cancer is a major operation and it can take a number of weeks to recover.

Sometimes, during surgery for bladder cancer, it may be necessary for the surgeon to form a ‘stoma’ (urostomy) on the wall of your abdomen. This surgery is undertaken in the Belfast Trust Hospitals.  A stoma is where an opening is made on your abdomen which allows waste to pass out of the body. There are different types of stoma and, if you need one, the type will depend on the location of your tumour and the type of surgery you need.  The stoma may be temporary or permanent. For more information on the different types of stomas, please visit the

Some patients may also require chemotherapy to treat their bladder cancer and others may also receive radiotherapy to treat their bladder cancer.

For more information on the treatment of bladder cancer, please visit the Macmillan Cancer Support website.

Stoma care nurses

The Trust specialist stoma care nursing staff will help patients look after their stoma and urostomy if one has been formed during their hospital stay and will encourage emptying and changing of the bag as often as is necessary.

Once at home, patients will still be able to phone their stoma care nurse for advice and may have contact with a community stoma nurse. The stoma care nurse can help to sort out any problems patients have with a urostomy.

Contact

Stoma care nurses, Antrim Area Hospital on Telephone: 028 9442 4000 Ext 4437

Penile cancer

For many patients with penile cancer, surgery is the main treatment.  There are several surgical procedures used to treat penile cancer:

  • wide local excision
  • microsurgery
  • laser surgery
  • circumcision
  • penectomy

Some patients may also require chemotherapy to treat their penile cancer and others may also receive radiotherapy to treat their penile cancer.

For more information on the treatment of penile cancer, please visit the Macmillan Cancer Support website.

Prostate cancer

Prostate cancer is often very slow growing and for many men with prostate cancer, the disease may never progress or cause any symptoms.

Not all prostate cancers need treatment. Many patients have their prostate cancer monitored to begin with, rather than treating it straight away.

For many patients with prostate cancer, surgery may be the most appropriate treatment.  Surgery to remove prostate cancer is a major operation and it will take some time to recover from the operation.

There are several ways of treating prostate cancer via surgery:

  • open retropubic prostatectomy
  • laparscopic retropubic prostatectomy
  • TURP/transurethral resection

Radiotherapy is a suitable treatment for men of any age and can sometimes be as effective as surgery (radical prostatectomy) at treating localised prostate cancer.

Most patients are given hormone therapy as part of their prostate cancer treatment, before starting radiotherapy to reduce the size of the prostate. Patients may also have hormone therapy during their course of radiotherapy, and sometimes for a period of time afterwards.

Brachytherapy (a form of radiotherapy) is also used to treat cancer that is contained within the prostate gland (localised prostate cancer).

Hormone therapy is an effective drug treatment which works by changing the hormone balance in the body which stops the male hormone testosterone from reaching the prostate cancer cells. This may be given as a combination of tablets and injections, or injections or tablets alone.

Chemotherapy may also be used to treat prostate cancer.  Chemotherapy is sometimes used if the cancer has spread outside the prostate gland and is no longer responding to hormone therapy.

For more information on the treatment of prostate cancer, please visit the Macmillan Cancer Support website.

Renal (kidney) cancer

For many patients with renal cancer, surgery is the main treatment.  There are several surgical procedures used to treat renal cancer:

  • partial nephrectomy
  • radical nephrectomy
  • laparoscopic nephrectomy

For more information on how to treat renal cancer, please visit the Macmillan Cancer Support website. (http://www.macmillan.org.uk/Home.aspx)

Testicular cancer

For most patients with testicular cancer, surgery may be the most appropriate treatment.  There are several surgical procedures used to treat testicular cancer:

  • orchidectomy
  • lymph node dissection

Chemotherapy may also be used to treat testicular cancer and some patients with testicular cancer may receive radiotherapy.

For more information on how to treat testicular cancer, please visit the Macmillan Cancer Support website.

After treatment

After treatment is completed, patients will have regular check-ups.  These are very important for the consultant urologist or oncologist to monitor patient progress.

Patients who have had treatment for a urological cancer will have regular follow up appointments with their surgeon or oncologist.

Patients experiencing worrying symptoms that they think may be related to their cancer should get in touch with their GP or consultant as soon as possible.