Chief, Division of Urology
Director of Urologic Oncology
Urologic malignancies include tumors of the prostate, bladder, kidneys, adrenal glands and testicles. Of these cancers, prostate cancer is the most common. In fact, according to the American Cancer Society, prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in American men, with one-in-six diagnosed with it in his lifetime. More than 2 million men alive in the U.S. today have been diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point in their lives.
Prostate cancer starts in the prostate gland, the small structure that makes up part of a man’s reproductive system. Prostate cancer treatment and prognosis depends on the tumor size and how far the cancer has spread, with some patients opting for active surveillance to wait and see if the cancer progresses before undergoing treatment.
Bladder cancers generally start from the cells lining the bladder. These cancers can be non-invasive, where the tumor remains in the bladder lining, or they can spread into other areas of the bladder and even to neighboring lymph nodes or other organs. The American Cancer Society estimates that more than 69,000 new cases of bladder cancer will be diagnosed this year. Bladder cancer usually occurs in older patients – the average age at time of diagnosis is 73 – and men are three times more likely than women to get it.
Kidney cancer also usually occurs in older patients – the average age at which patients are diagnosed is 64. Of the different types of kidney tumors, the most common one is renal cell carcinoma, which accounts for 9 out of 10 kidney cancers. Other types include transitional cell carcinomas, Wilms tumors, and renal sarcomas. According to the American Cancer Society, more than 60,000 new cases of kidney cancer will occur in the U.S. this year.
Located on top of the kidneys, adrenal glands produce a wide array of hormones and chemicals. Benign (noncancerous) adrenal tumors are common, and the American Cancer Society states that adrenal tumors (most of which are benign) are found in about one in every 10 people who have an imaging test of the adrenal gland. Malignant (cancerous) adrenal tumors are rare, with adrenal cortical carcinoma being the most common type of adrenal cancer.
Testicular cancer is cancer that starts in the testicles, the male reproductive glands located in the scrotum. This type of cancer is not common, with the American Cancer Society estimating that about 8,290 new cases of testicular cancer will be diagnosed this year. Fortunately, treatments for testicular cancer are so successful that the risk of dying from it is very low – about one man in 5,000.
These websites are also excellent resources for information on these types of cancer: