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Urologic Cancer Services

Loyola is widely recognized as one of the top urology programs nationwide. General urological care includes treatment for a broad spectrum of diseases such as urologic cancers.

At Loyola, patients receive multidisciplinary care from a team of experts for cancers of the bladder, kidney, prostate and ureter, including major surgical and reconstructive procedures and minimally invasive approaches such as laparoscopy and innovative robotic surgery. These minimally invasive procedures minimize scarring, reduce hospital stays and allow the patients to recover more rapidly. Patients also have access to current and investigational treatments and advanced radiation therapeutic approaches.

Loyola’s specialized pathologists identify the stage and type of each patient’s cancer. This precise identification leads to an individualized treatment plan, which takes into account the patient’s age, medical condition, stage and characteristics of the cancer and patient preferences – and this leads to the best possible outcome for every patient.

Bladder Cancer Services

Loyola pathologists are using a new investigational technique to increase the accuracy of staging bladder cancer tumors that has shown promise in reducing the need to remove bladders from some patients, enabling them to live as normally as possible.

Patients who require surgery for bladder cancer have several options, which may include removal of the bladder. If it does, the urinary tract can then be reconstructed in three ways:

Neobladder – A neobladder is a substitute for the natural bladder. It is made from the patient’s intestine and connected to the urethra, allowing the urine to drain in a relatively normal manner. While many would prefer this procedure, it is best used on patients who are otherwise healthy, as the recovery is more involved.

Continent Urostomy – This surgical procedure places a pouch inside the body, which acts as an artificial bladder to store urine. The urine is emptied every three to four hours from the pouch through a catheter that is inserted into a small opening, often on the lower abdomen.

Incontinent Urostomy – This surgical procedure inserts a bag outside of the body. Urine flows into the bag from a catheter, which is emptied periodically.

Kidney Cancer Services

The main treatment for kidney cancer is removal of all or part of the kidney or erosion of the tumor. This can be done through the following procedures:

Removal of the Kidney – This is the preferred treatment in patients whose other kidney is normal and who do not have diseases that could affect the remaining kidney function in the future. Not only is the diseased kidney removed but all surrounding fat, often with removal of the adjacent adrenal gland and lymph nodes.

Partial Removal of the Kidney – This procedure is preferred in patients with compromised kidney function, patients with only one kidney or tumors in both kidneys, or in patients with other severe conditions that can affect kidney function in the future. It involves the removal of the tumor and the adjacent portion of the kidney.

This procedure often can be performed using minimally invasive techniques such as laparoscopy or innovative robotic surgery, which minimizes scarring, reduces hospital stays and allows the patients to recover more rapidly.

Kidney Cryoablation – This involves freezing the tumor to destroy it. Optimal candidates are older or have a small tumor on the surface of the kidney.

Patients with advanced kidney cancer are typically treated with medications that stimulate the patient's own immune system to fight off the cancer. A number of other novel treatment approaches are being explored for patients with advanced kidney cancer at Loyola’s Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center.

Ureter Cancer Services

The Urologic Oncology Clinic at the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center provides the latest procedures and care for patients with ureter cancer. In addition, National Institutes of Health-funded outreach programs and clinical trials are available.

Our physicians most commonly manage ureter cancer surgically by removing the entire or a portion of the ureter and a kidney. Ureter cancer has the potential to spread or recur in the kidney and bladder, given the proximity of the organs. These organs also have the same type of tissue lining as the ureter, and cancers that impact these areas have similar risk factors, such as smoking and extended exposure to certain dyes and chemicals used in the manufacturing of leather goods, textiles, plastics and rubber.

Chemotherapy and radiation are second-line options for patients with ureter cancer. These treatments can be inserted directly into the ureter to diminish or destroy the tumor and minimize impact on the rest of the body.

Oncologists at Loyola also use endoscopic management to treat ureter cancer. This involves inserting a tube with cameras through the kidney. Immunotherapy is then given to the patient through the tube. This technique also can be used to identify and remove the tumor or the ureter.

For an appointment or for more information about ureter cancer services, call (888) LUHS-888.

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