Urethral cancer

Urethral cancer is cancer originating from the urethra. Cancer in this location is rare, and the most common type is papillary transitional cell carcinoma.[1] The most common site of urethral cancer is the bulbomembranous urethra.

Urethral cancer
Urethral urothelial cell carcinoma.jpg
Micrograph of a urethral cancer, urothelial cell carcinoma, found on a prostate core biopsy. H&E stain.

Signs and symptomsEdit

Symptoms that may be caused by urethral cancer include: Bleeding from the urethra or blood in the urine, Weak or interrupted flow of urine, Urination occurs often, painful urination, inability to pass urine, A lump or thickness in the perineum or penis, Discharge from the urethra, Enlarged lymph nodes or pain in the groin or vaginal area.

Risk factorsEdit

The main medical risk factors are having bladder cancer or having conditions that cause chronic inflammation in the urethra. People over the age of 60 and white women have the highest risks.


Diagnosis is established by transurethral biopsy. Types of urethral cancer include transitional cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, adenocarcinoma, and melanoma.


Surgery is the most common treatment for cancer of the urethra. One of the following types of surgery may be done: Open excision, Electro-resection with flash, Laser surgery, Cystourethrectomy, Cystoprostatectomy, Anterior body cavity, or Incomplete or basic penectomy surgery.

Radiation therapy has also been used in some cases[2].

Chemotherapy is sometimes used to destroy urethral cancer cells. It is a systemic urethral cancer treatment (i.e., destroys urethral cancer cells throughout the body) that is administered orally or intravenously. Medications are often used in combination to destroy urethral cancer that has metastasized. Commonly used drugs include cisplatin, vincristine, and methotrexate.

Side effects include anemia (causing fatigue, weakness), nausea and vomiting, loss of appetite, hair loss, mouth sores, increased risk for infection, shortness of breath, or excessive bleeding and bruising.[3]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Ries, LAG; Young, JL; Keel, GE; Eisner, MP; Lin, YD; Horner, M-J, eds. (2007). "Chapter 30: Cancers of Rare Sites". SEER Survival Monograph: Cancer Survival Among Adults: US SEER Program, 1988–2001, Patient and Tumor Characteristics. SEER Program. NIH Pub. No. 07-6215. Bethesda, MD: National Cancer Institute. pp. 251–262. Archived from the original on 10 October 2013. Retrieved 18 October 2013.
  2. ^ Donovan, Amy; Beldham-Collins, Rachael; Turner, Sandra. "A Case study of the radiation therapy treatment of a transitional cell carcinoma of the distal urethra". Journal of Medical Radiation Sciences. n/a (n/a). doi:10.1002/jmrs.371. ISSN 2051-3909.
  3. ^ Urethral Cancer Treatment

External linksEdit

External resources