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Urethral cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the urethra.
The urethra is the tube that carries urine from the bladder to outside the body. In women, the urethra is about 1½ inches long and is just above the vagina. In men, the urethra is about 8 inches long and goes through the prostate gland and the penis to the outside of the body. In men, the urethra also carries semen.
There are different types of urethral cancer that begin in cells that line the urethra.
The following tests and procedures may be used:
There are different types of treatment for patients with urethral cancer. Four types of standard treatment are used:
Surgery to remove the cancer is the most common treatment for cancer of the urethra. One of the following types of surgery may be done:
Removal of the cancer by surgery.
Surgery to remove the cancer using a special tool inserted into the urethra.
Surgery to remove the cancer by electric current. A lighted tool with a small wire loop on the end is used to remove the cancer or to burn the tumor away with high-energy electricity.
A surgical procedure that uses a laser beam (a narrow beam of intense light) as a knife to make bloodless cuts in tissue or to remove or destroy tissue.
Lymph nodes in the pelvis and groin may be removed.
Surgery to remove the bladder and the urethra.
Surgery to remove the bladder and the prostate.
Surgery to remove the part of the penis surrounding the urethra where cancer has spread. Plastic surgery may be done to rebuild the penis.
Surgery to remove the entire penis. Plastic surgery may be done to rebuild the penis.
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