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Ureteral Carcinoma: Causes, Symptoms, Risk Factors, Diagnosis and Treatment

Feb 12, 2024

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Causes Of Ureteral Carcinoma

Symptoms Of Ureteral Carcinoma

Risk Factors Of Of Ureteral Carcinoma

Diagnosis Of Ureteral Carcinoma

Treatment Of Ureteral Carcinoma

Surgery

Chemotherapy

Immunotherapy

Follow up

Ureteral Carcinoma: Causes, Symptoms, Risk Factors, Diagnosis and Treatment

Ureteral carcinoma, also referred to as cancer of the ureters, is an abnormal growth of cells on the inside lining of the tubes (ureters) that connect your kidneys to your bladder. The ureters in the urinary tract carry the urine that the kidneys generate to the bladder.

Cancer of the urinary tract is rare. The most prevalent demographics for it are older adults and those who have previously undergone bladder cancer treatment.

Ureters and bladder cancers are closely connected. The cells lining the ureters and the inside of the bladder are the same. Given that people with ureteral cancer have a markedly increased chance of acquiring bladder cancer, your doctor will likely recommend testing to look for bladder cancer signs. Surgery is usually required for the treatment of ureteral cancer.


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Causes Of Ureteral Carcinoma

It is uncertain what causes ureteral carcinoma.

Ureteric cancer arises from genetic changes, or mutations, that affect the cells lining the inside of the ureter. The changes give the cells instructions to multiply swiftly and to survive longer than they would otherwise. This leads to the growth of an abnormal cell mass that may eventually clog the ureter or spread to other body areas.

Also Read: Throat Cancer: Types, Causes, Symptoms, Risk Factors, Diagnosis, Treatment and Prevention

Symptoms Of Ureteral Carcinoma

Signs and indications of urinary carcinoma include:

  • Blood in the urine
  • Back pain
  • Discomfort when urinating
  • Weight loss
  • Tired

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Risk Factors Of Of Ureteral Carcinoma

Some factors that could increase your risk of developing ureteral carcinoma are as follows:

  • Age: The risk of developing ureteral cancer increases with age. Most people diagnosed with cancer are between the ages of 70 and 80.
  • Previous history of bladder or renal cancer: A history of bladder or kidney cancer diagnosis increases the risk of urinary cancer.
  • Cigarette use: Tobacco use increases the risk of ureteral cancer in addition to other cancers of the urinary tract, including bladder and kidney cancer.
  • Ancestral history of cancer: The illness known as Lynch syndrome, or hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC), increases the risk of developing colon cancer in addition to other cancers such as ureteral cancer. If there is a significant family history of cancer, discuss this with your doctor. Together, you two can decide whether to seek genetic testing for Lynch syndrome and other hereditary cancer syndromes.

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Diagnosis Of Ureteral Carcinoma

The detection of ureteral carcinoma involves the use of the subsequent methods and tests:

  • Physical evaluation: Your doctor will undertake a physical examination and ask you questions about your symptoms to gain a better understanding of your condition.
  • Imaging tests: Your doctor may use imaging methods to assess the entire extent of your ureteral cancer. Imaging studies include intravenous pyelograms and CT urography. In certain cases, a magnetic resonance urogram may be done if CT imaging is not a possibility for you.
  • Urine examination: You could get a urinalysis to see whether your pee contains any irregularities. Urine cytology testing is one way to determine whether a urine sample contains aberrant cells.
  • Using a small, lighted tube, ureters are observed: In a process known as a ureteroscopy, your doctor will insert a tiny, lit tube called a ureteroscope, complete with a camera into your urethra. Once it has passed through your bladder, the scope is placed into your ureters. A ureteroscopy allows your doctor to inspect your ureters up close and, if necessary, remove a small sample of tissue for laboratory analysis (biopsy). In the lab, your cells will be closely examined by a pathologist, a medical specialist who specializes in analyzing blood and biological tissue to search for signs of cancer. Examining the gene changes that are causing your cancer in detail may be necessary for this.
  • Evaluations for bladder cancer: Your physician may do imaging tests or cystoscopy, a procedure that allows a scope to be used to see within the bladder to inspect your bladder for indications of bladder cancer. The majority of people diagnosed with ureteral cancer also frequently get bladder cancer. It may occur in the early stages of therapy or coexist with your ureteric cancer.

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Treatment Of Ureteral Carcinoma

Urinary malignancies typically require surgery to be treated. Your options for treating ureteric carcinoma will vary depending on the size and location of the cancer, the aggressiveness of the cells, and your individual preferences and objectives.

Surgery

Surgery is often recommended to remove ureteral cancer. The extent of your operation will depend on your circumstances.

Only very early-stage ureteral malignancies may require ureteric excision during surgery. In more advanced cases of ureteral cancer, a nephroterectomy (removal of the affected kidney) and a portion of the bladder may be necessary.

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy can sometimes shrink a tumor before surgery, making the tumor easier to remove. Chemotherapy can be used in conjunction with surgery to eliminate any remaining cancer cells.

The indications and symptoms of advanced ureteral cancer can be controlled with chemotherapy.

Immunotherapy

Immunotherapy strengthens your immune system to combat cancer. Your cancer may be too advanced for the immune system to handle when cancer cells produce proteins that help them avoid detection by immune system cells. Immunotherapy works by getting in the way of that process.

Immunotherapy is a potential treatment option for advanced ureteral cancer when other therapies have not been successful.

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Follow up

After your treatment, your doctor will schedule follow-up exams to look for any signs that your cancer has returned. These tests also look for signs of bladder cancer because people with ureteral cancer have a higher risk of developing bladder cancer.

The exams and the tests you take will depend on your circumstances. But after the first year, you should schedule less regular visits with your doctor; ideally, every few months.

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