Urethral Cancer

Overview of Urethral Cancer

Urethral Cancer Meaning in Urdu

پیشاب کی نالی کا کینسر بہت کم لوگوں کو متاثر کرتا ہے۔ اس کینسر کی وجہ سے پیشاب کی نالی کے ٹشوز میں ٹیومر بن جاتے ہیں۔ زیادہ تر افراد میں اس کینسر کی ابتدائی سطح پر تشخیص نہیں ہو پاتی۔ تاہم اس کی ابتدائی علامات مندرجہ ذیل ہو سکتی ہیں: پیشاب میں خون آنا، پیشاب میں رک رک کر آنا، پیشاب کرتے وقت درد ہونا، عام روٹین سے زیادہ پیشاب آنا، اعضائے مخصوصہ کا موٹا ہو جانا، اور پیشاب کی نالی سے سفید رطوبت آنا۔ ابھی تک یہ معلوم نہیں ہو سکا ہے کہ پیشاب کی نالی کا کینسر کیوں لاحق ہوتا ہے۔

Urethral cancer develops in the urethra. The urethra is a hollow tube from which urine passes from the bladder to the outside of your body. 

In males, the urethra is approximately 8 inches long and it runs from the bladder and through the prostate, and to the end of the penis.

In females, the urethra is small as compared to men, as it is only 1.5 inches long. It starts from the bladder opening to just an opening of the vagina.

Prevalence of Urethral Cancer


Among all the other urological cancers, urethral cancer is the rarest of all. Less than 1% of all patients suffering from urological cancers are diagnosed with urethral cancers. It is more prevalent in men as compared to women.

Signs and Symptoms of Urethral Cancer

Urethral cancer can be a silent disease. When the cancer is small, it may not even show any symptoms. When the tumor grows, the urethral cancer symptoms are as follows:

  • Blood in urine
  • Trouble passing the urine
  • Difficulty emptying the bladder
  • Bleeding or discharge from the urethra
  • Frequent urination
  • Urine inconsistency or inability to control urine
  • Pain, dribbling, or low flow during urination
  • Growth or lump in the penis or the area between the anus and perineum
  • Enlarged lymph nodes in the groin region 

These symptoms can also be linked with other health issues. Therefore, you must visit a doctor if you suffer from these signs and symptoms. Only a certified doctor can help you with a proper diagnosis. 

Types of Urethral Cancer

There are different types of urethral cancer

  1. Squamous Cell Carcinoma is one of the common types of urethral cancer. It forms in the flat and thin cells of the urethra in the penis of men and near the bladder in women.

  2. Adenocarcinoma develops in the glands around the urethra in both women and men.

  3. Transitional Cell Carcinoma develops in the part that goes into the men's prostate gland. In women, it develops near the opening of the urethra.


Causes of Urethral Cancer

Just like the majority of cancers, the cause of urethral cancer is still unknown. Cancer starts to develop when healthy cells of the body begin to grow uncontrollably. Such cells combine together and began to form a tumor. 

But why such cells begin to grow rapidly like this, it’s still unknown. However, researchers have found some risk factors that can increase the risk of cancer. 


Risk Factors of Urethral Cancer

A risk factor is something that increases your chances of suffering from cancer. The exact cause may not be known but risk factors can increase the chances of a certain disease. Some risk factors are in your control while others are not.


As urethral cancer is rare therefore it is difficult for doctors to find its risk factor. Possible urethral risk factors are as follows:

  • Older age
  • Chronic inflammation or irritation
  • Repeated urinary tract infection (UTIs) or sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
  • History of bladder cancer 
  • History of HPV (Human papillomavirus infection)
  • Certain diseases such as urethral strictures in men and polyps, urethral caruncle, and urethral diverticulum in women 
  • Black people are more prone to urethral cancer as compared to white as per stats of the National Cancer Institute

What are the complications of Urethral Cancer?


Due to urethral cancer, patients suffer from health conditions such as trouble peeing, low flow, pain, dribbling during urination, urine inconsistency, and enlarged lymph nodes in the groin region. 



Urethral cancer is rare and doctors are still working on urethral cancer prevention. However, reducing risk factors such as repeated STDs and UTIs is the first and an important step in preventing urethral cancer. Regular exercise, a balanced diet, drinking sufficient fluids, avoiding unprotected intercourse, and practicing good hygiene.



For the urethral cancer diagnosis, your doctor will first inquire about your medical history and look for concerning symptoms. The doctor will then do a physical examination. 

Your healthcare provider may also conduct some tests for the proper diagnosis. These tests are as follows:


  • Pelvic Exam - The doctor will examine your cervix, uterus, fallopian tubes, vagina, bladder, ovaries, and rectum to detect any tumors or abnormalities. They may also take samples and study them under a microscope. 
  • Rectal Digital Exam - To check the abnormalities of the anus and rectum, the doctor would examine your anus and rectum. It will also help in the diagnosis of digital rectal exams.
  • Blood Tests - Various blood tests may be recommended to check the level of blood and kidney function in the body.
  • Urinalysis - A urine complete examination or urinalysis would be done to check the colour of the urine, complete content, and a sign of infection.
  • Cytology of Urine - The urine cytology is done to check the signs of cancer. Cells that line your bladder and urethra are checked in urine cytology.
  • Cystoscopy - The cystoscopy helps in looking inside your bladder and urethra. 
  • Ureteroscopy - A thin, lighted tube with a lens or ureteroscope is inserted into your lens to examine the ureters and kidneys. They might also take a tissue to study under the microscope.
  • CT Scan - The computed tomography or CT Scan will be done to have a detailed picture of the abdomen or pelvis to have a 3D image of tissues.
  • Biopsy - In some cases, a biopsy is also done. Tissues from the bladder, urethra, and prostate are taken and a biopsy is done to check for any signs of cancer.

Treatment of Urethral Cancer | When to Consult a Doctor

The urethral cancer treatment varies from case to case and is based on the following parameter:

  • Your gender (male or female)
  • The affected area of your urethra
  • Overall health 
  • Whether cancer has spread to the other part of the body or not
  • Whether the urethral cancer is appearing for the first time or is a relapse

The urethral cancer treatment includes:

  1. Surgery

Surgery is the most common treatment option for urethral cancer. A urologist will help you with the surgical removal of your tumor. They may also remove the prostate, bladder, lymph nodes, penis, or vagina if the cancer is spread a lot.

  1. Radiation Therapy

In this therapy, radiation is used to kill cancer cells. 

  1. Chemotherapy 

Cancer-fighting drugs are used to kill cancer cells and prevent the abnormal growth of cells. Your doctor may recommend a combination of other treatments for urethral cancer treatment. For any concerning signs and symptoms, you need to visit a certified urologist and oncologist for customized consultation and treatment.