Diagnosing Urethral Cancer

Urethral cancer is rare. At Scott & White, our collaborative team of specialists has the expertise and skill necessary to diagnose and evaluate this unusual cancer. Our prestigious GU urologists and pathologists are first rate at detecting, identifying and classifying urethral malignancies.

At Scott & White, we know a diagnosis of cancer is alarming. Our physicians, nurses and support staff will compassionately guide you throughout the diagnostic process and all stages of your urethral cancer treatment.

Urethral Cancer Diagnostic Services

At Scott & White Healthcare, we use state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment to help identify your tumors with clarity and precision.

If your physician suspects you may have urethral cancer, he or she may recommend one or more of the following tests.

Physical Exams

  • Physical examination and history. Your physician will begin with a thorough physical exam and medical history.
  • Digital rectal exam (DRE). If the DRE yields abnormal results, your physician may order a biopsy.
  • Pelvic exam. In this procedure, your physician will insert gloved and lubricated fingers into your vagina to check for abnormalities on the uterus, ovaries, cervix, fallopian tubes, rectum and vagina.
  • Cytoscopy. In this procedure, your urologist will insert a very small high-definition camera attached to a thin tube (cystoscope) into your urethra and bladder to check for abnormal cells. If there are any abnormalities, your urologist will perform a biopsy (surgically remove a small piece of your bladder). Tissue samples will be sent to the laboratory for evaluation by a pathologist.
  • Biopsy. A biopsy is the best way to confirm the presence of urethral cancer. Your physician will surgically remove a small sample of tissue from your urethra, bladder, and sometimes your prostate gland. Tissue samples will be sent to the laboratory for evaluation by a pathologist.

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Laboratory Tests

  • Urine cytology
  • Urinalysis
  • Tumor marker tests. A tumor marker is a substance that may be found in a tumor or released from a tumor into your blood or other body fluids. A high level of a tumor marker may note the presence of a certain types of urethral cancer.

Imaging Tests

Your physician may order one or more of the following imaging tests to check for signs of disease or determine whether cancer has spread to other parts of your body:

  • Ultrasound
  • Abdominal and pelvic CT scan
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan
  • Positron emission tomography (PET) scan
  • Chest X-ray
  • Bone scan

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