Information and support
UCARE aims to provide information and education about urological cancers.
Urological cancer is cancer that affects the kidney, bladder, prostate, testicles or penis.
If you notice blood in your pee, even if it's 'just the once', tell your doctor straight away.
For more information visit the NHS Choices website
The symptoms below can be caused by conditions other than cancer. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms you should see your GP who may refer you for further investigation.
Kidney cancer does not always cause symptoms, but if there are symptoms they can include:
- Blood in the urine
- A swelling or lump in the area of the kidney
- Fevers and night sweats
- Unexplained weight loss
- Generally feeling unwell
The most common symptom of bladder cancer is blood in the urine but there can also be:
- muscle spasms in the bladder
- a burning pain when passing urine - this could also be a symptom of a non-cancerous bladder infection, which is easily treated with antibiotics
Testicular cancer is the most common cancer in men aged 20 to 34. It is important for men to be aware of the disease so that they can recognise the symptoms. If caught early there is a 96-100% chance of a full recovery.
Possible signs of testicular cancer include:
- A painless lump or swelling in either testicle
- Change in how the testicle feels
- Dull ache in the lower abdomen or the groin (area where the thigh meets the abdomen)
- Pain or discomfort in a testicle or in the scrotum
Carry out a fast and simple self-examination which can help you find cancer early. The best time to give your testicles a check-up is after a warm bath or shower once a month, so you can detect any changes in your testicles and get them sorted out as soon as possible!
- Place your thumbs on top of your testicle. Put your index and middle fingers under the testicle.
- Roll the testicle between the thumbs and fingers.
- Feel for any lumps, about the size of a pea.
- If you find a lump, see your doctor as soon as possible
1 in 11 men will suffer from prostate cancer. Prostate cancer usually affects men 50 years and over it is rare in men under 50 but not unheard of. The prostate gland is located just under the bladder, and is about the size and shape of a walnut. The prostate secretes a fluid that contributes 20-30 percent of the total volume of seminal fluid.
It is unclear what causes prostate cancer but it is thought that people who have diets high in animal fats and milk products may have a higher risk of prostate cancer than those with diets which are high in green vegetables which may be protective. In its early stages prostate cancer often does not cause symptoms. But when they do occur they may include:
- Difficulty in urinating
- Delays in urinating
- Stopping and starting urinating
- A weak stream of urine
- Urinating more often than usual
- Blood in urine
- Pain and stiffness in the lower back and hips
If you have any of the above symptoms it is important that you have them checked by your doctor. But remember, most enlargements of the prostate are not cancer.
Your doctor will examine you. As the rectum (back passage) is close to the prostate gland, your doctor can feel for any abnormalities in the prostate by inserting a gloved finger into the rectum. This may be uncomfortable but should not be painful.
You may be offered a blood test: sample of blood is taken to check for PSA (prostate-specific antigen). PSA is a protein produced by the prostate and a small amount is normally found in the blood. Men with cancer of the prostate tend to have more PSA in their blood.
African Caribbean men
Evidence suggests that African Caribbean men living in the UK have a three times greater risk of developing prostate cancer than white men. A great deal of research needs to be done to find out why this should be, but in both groups the biggest risk factor is still age.
Cancer of the penis
Be aware of the signs and symptoms
Cancer of the penis is a rare cancer affecting about 550 men/year in the UK. It mostly affects men over the age of 60. There are a number of risk factors which predispose men to this form of cancer. About 40-50% of cases are associated with HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) types 16 and 18. Phimosis (tight foreskin) and poor hygiene can increase the risk. Smoking also increases the risk. Having a circumcision in infancy or childhood reduces the risk.
The first change noticed is often a change in colour or thickness of the skin of the glans (head) of the penis or foreskin. This may grow into a flat growth or a sore. It can also present as a non-healing ulcer or a red rash. It is important to remember that these changes can occur with conditions other than cancer.
Early diagnosis is very important so don't delay if you notice any skin changes.
Your GP will examine you and also feel for any enlarged lymph nodes in the groin.
If he suspects cancer he will refer you to see a specialist who will examine you and arrange for a biopsy (removing a small part of the abnormal skin).
If cancer is diagnosed you will need to have further investigations such as a MRI or CT scan.
Depending on the stage of the cancer you will be offered treatment which usually involves surgery, plus chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy. You will be looked after by a team of specialists including
- Surgeon-specialist in this type of cancer and reconstructive surgery if needed
- Oncologist-specialist in chemo and radiotherapy
- Radiologist-specialist in interpreting scans and x-rays
- Specialist nurses for advice and support
If you have any of the symptoms outlined above, you should not be embarrassed – don't delay discussing it with your Occupational Health Department or GP.
It is estimated that about a third of cancers could be prevented through changing our diet, alcohol consumption, amount physical activity and weight management. Alongside not smoking, these are the most important things we can do to reduce our risk of the disease.
To find out how to minimise your risk of cancer NHS Oxfordshire provides help and useful information.
Find everything you need to know about cancer including causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment, with links to other useful resources.
FROG are a local support group for kidney (renal) cancer patients, families, and carers.
(OPCSG) are based at The Churchill Hospital to support prostate cancer patients and their families.