What is the Urethra?
The urethra is the tube that helps carry urine from the bladder to the penis, to eventually outside of the body. In females, the urethra is 1.5 inches long and is located right above the vagina. Urethra cancer, in comparison, in men, the urethra is 8 inches long and travels from the prostate gland to the penis. The urethra also helps semen travel throughout the body.
What is Urethral Cancer?
Urethral cancer occurs when malignant cells in the urethra’s tissues grow abnormally and at a rapid pace. Compared to other urologic cancers, urethral cancer is rare, making up 1-2 percent. Urethral cancer is also diagnosed when cancer metastasizes to other tissues around the urethra area like the lymph nodes. Although occurs in both men and women, urethral cancer is most common in Caucasian women aged 60 or over.
Who’s at Risk?
urethra cancer is most common in men and women that are over the age of 60. You are at a higher risk if you suffer frequent urinary tract infections, bladder cancer, and sexually transmitted diseases. These conditions result in inflammation of the urethra. In addition, urethral cancer has been linked to the human papillomavirus, specifically the HPV 16 strand.
Different Types of Urethral Cancer
There are three types of urethral carcinomas. A carcinoma is a cancer that starts in tissue lining. Each of the tree carcinomas listed below is defined by the types of cells in which they grow.
- Squamous cell carcinoma: this is the most common urethral cancer and begins when malignant cells form in the lining of the urethra. In men, this is inside the men’s penis.
- Transitional cell carcinoma: this begins when malignant cells form in the lining of the urethra that surrounds the prostate.
- Adenocarcinoma: this type of carcinoma forms (in both men and women) in the glands that are around the urethra.
Symptoms of Urethra cancer
- Blood in urine
- Bleeding or other discharge from the urethra
- Frequent urination
- Weak urine flow
- Abnormal thickness or lumps in the groin/penis area
Be Smart, Detect It
Tests can be conducted that help examine the urethra and bladder. These tests can detect urethral cancer. Dr. Elist is one of the country’s leading urologists and has been awarded by LA Magazine as the “Best Plastic Surgeon – Urologist.” As a specialist in urology, Dr. Elist can offer you the best care when it comes to urethral help. If you have any concerns about your penile health, Dr. Elist and his decades of experience can provide you with the help you need.