How does surgery treat urinary system cancers?

Diana Meeks
Diana Meeks on behalf of Sigma Nursing
Family Practitioner

Surgery is often the primary method of treatment for many types of urinary system cancer. For example, the most common treatment for kidney cancer is surgical removal of a kidney along with the attached adrenal gland and some tissue from around the kidney. This procedure is called a radical nephrectomy. Most people can function well with just one kidney. Sometimes only part of the kidney is removed. Surgery for bladder cancer can range from simple removal of a tumor to removal of part or all of the bladder and the surrounding organs, such as the prostate in men or the uterus and ovaries in women. This is known as a cystectomy. If the bladder is removed, other reconstructive surgery will be necessary to create a way for the body to store and eliminate urine. Surgery may also be performed on other parts of the body that are affected by the urinary system cancer, such as lymph nodes, organs adjacent to the affected organ, or organs that have been affected when the cancer has metastasized or moved through the body to other organs.

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