Urethral cancer is among the rarest type of urological cancer. This cancer is more common in men. In some cases, the cancer does not display any symptoms. As the cancer grows it may be noticeable as a lump on the urethra. More commonly it is found on evaluation for blood in the urine or surveillance for bladder cancer.
The cancerous growth can block the urethra. That may lead to symptoms that are commonly seen in other urological conditions. Signs of urethral cancer can include:
- Blood in the urine
- Bleeding from the urethra
- Frequent urination
- Urgency to urinate
- Difficulty urinating
- Enlarged lymph nodes in the groin
- A growth in the urethra
Urethral cancer often evades early diagnosis due to the lack of symptoms in its early stages. Even when symptoms begin to appear, they are common to a wide range of conditions.
Patients with urethral cancer often undergo treatment for urinary tract infection or other conditions before diagnosis. Testing for urethral cancer can include urine tests, blood tests, and imaging tests like ultrasounds or CT scans.
Cystourethroscopy may be required, where the doctor passes a scope through the urethra to examine it. This can reveal cancerous growths, and a tissue sample or biopsy is obtained to confirm the diagnosis.