Urologic Cancers

Urologic Cancers

Urology specialists in El Camino Hospital’s cancer program expertly diagnose and treat a variety of urologic cancers, including bladder, kidney, prostate and testicular.

According to the American Cancer Society:

  • Bladder cancer occurs mainly in people older than age 55. It’s the fourth most common cancer among men. Each year, more than 74,000 new cases of bladder cancer are diagnosed in the U.S.
  • Kidney cancer is among the 10 most common cancers for both men and women in the U.S. More than 61,000 new cases are diagnosed each year, at an average age of 64.
  • Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in American men. One in 7 men will develop the disease at some time in his life — most often after age 65. More than 220,000 new cases are diagnosed in the U.S. each year.
  • Testicular cancer is a highly treatable disease, mostly of young and middle-aged men, with an average age at diagnosis of 33. About 8,400 cases of testicular cancer are diagnosed each year in the U.S.

Through El Camino Hospital’s cancer program you’ll have access to some of the country's leading urologic cancer specialists and a wide range of services including screening exams — such as transrectal ultrasound and biopsy, and diagnostic imaging — and treatments including surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

Our doctors, nurses and other staff members will give you their complete support and understanding as they help you through the physical, mental and emotional challenges of cancer. We offer a variety of specialized services, support and assistance to address the needs of you and your family members throughout treatment and recovery.

Prevention of Urologic Cancers

While the exact causes of urologic cancers aren’t known, there are well-established health habits known to reduce your chances of developing any of these cancers:

  • Don’t smoke.
  • Drink plenty of liquids to flush any cancer-causing substances from your body.
  • Exercise and maintain a healthy weight.
  • Eat fish and lots of fruits and vegetables, and reduce animal fats in your diet.
  • Avoid occupational exposure to chemicals that increase the risk of cancer.
  • Know your family health history and share it with your doctor.
  • Keep up with your schedule of health screenings.

Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

El Camino Hospital’s cancer program includes some of the area’s leading specialists, who fight cancer tirelessly and work as a multidisciplinary team to create a personalized care plan for you. We offer all available radiation therapies and consider which will give you the most effective results with the fewest side effects.

Diagnostics and therapies include:

Bladder Cancer

Symptoms of bladder cancer may include blood in the urine as well as a sense of urgency and frequency. Superficial bladder cancer can be treated with a scope inserted through the urethra (the tube that allows urine to pass out of the body) to shave off a bladder tumor. If the tumor invades the wall of the bladder and the bladder needs to be removed, our urologists can perform robotic-assisted cystectomy, a minimally invasive procedure followed by urinary diversion or bladder reconstruction.

Kidney Cancer

El Camino Hospital offers a range of approaches for the treatment of kidney cancer, including partial nephrectomy, a minimally invasive procedure to remove only the portion of the kidney involving the tumor. To be safe, a rim of normal kidney tissue around the tumor (a “margin”) is taken to assure complete removal of the cancer. If the cancer is too large, or involves the vessels and urinary drainage areas, the entire kidney may need to be removed — but a minimally invasive approach may still be possible.

Prostate Cancer

In the case of slow-growing prostate cancer, most tumors are found in time for effective therapy. Treatment options include radical prostatectomy (surgical removal of the prostate) and several forms of radiation therapy, including radioactive seed implantation (brachytherapy) or external radiation therapy.

Our cancer program exceeds national benchmarks in prostate cancer five-year survival rates. Our relentless pursuit of options and answers and our personalized approach help us achieve higher cure rates for early-stage cancers. We’re able to prolong life while maintaining quality of life for advanced stages of prostate cancer. 

We offer minimally invasive surgery and robotic-assisted surgery. Our doctors have had excellent success with robotic-assisted removal of the prostate — the most effective, most nerve-sparing and least invasive prostate cancer surgery available. This approach may result in more complete eradication of cancer and retention of bladder control and potency. Our specially trained surgeons operate through five or six tiny incisions and direct robotically controlled instruments.

Our radiation oncologists are some of the most experienced in the region in using brachytherapy for prostate cancer. During an outpatient procedure, your doctor implants low-dose radioactive seeds into the prostate to eliminate the tumor. External radiation treatments are also performed as an outpatient procedure, requiring daily treatments for about six weeks. 

Early diagnosis is important to a successful result. Talk to your doctor about these standard screenings:

  • A prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test, usually starting at age 50, once or twice yearly, at least until age 70. If your PSA level in the bloodstream is elevated, this may indicate prostate cancer or a noncancerous condition such as prostatitis or an enlarged prostate.
  • A digital rectal exam performed by your doctor during your annual physical exam.
  • An ultrasound if your PSA blood test or digital rectal exam indicates something abnormal. If necessary, your doctor can remove small tissue samples from the abnormal area for further study. 

Testicular Cancer

If you have testicular cancer,  the urologic cancer experts at El Camino Hospital work with medical and radiation oncologists to formulate a personalized treatment plan with the most advanced techniques available. 

Laparoscopic retroperitoneal lymph node dissection (RPLND), a minimally invasive procedure, removes the abdominal lymph nodes and helps establish the exact stage and type of cancer so we can create the most effective treatment plan for you. We also offer testicular prosthesis placement for those who need it.

Our highly experienced radiation oncology experts use traditional external beams of radiation to treat testicular cancer, and we also offer the sophisticated stereotactic radiosurgery technique, which allows delivery of radiation beams with submillimeter accuracy. We have the latest machines to deliver the radiation beams, called CyberKnife and RapidArc, both known for their high levels of precision and ability to spare healthy tissue surrounding the tumor. 

Doctors at El Camino Hospital have performed more than 5,000 radiosurgery treatments for many cancer types and offer consultations within 24 hours.

Talk to Someone

Inquire about services or get a physician referral. Our call-back and chat services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Contact Us

Make an appointment, get information or refer someone by calling the Cancer Center at 650-988-8338 or radiation oncology at 650-940-7280.