Transitional Cell Carcinoma
What is transitional cell carcinoma?
Transitional cell carcinoma, also known as cancer of the renal pelvis and ureter, is the most common form of cancer that forms in this part of the body. It forms from transitional cells, a type of cell that lines the renal pelvis and ureter that is able to bend and stretch without breaking.
What are the symptoms of transitional cell carcinoma?
Symptoms may not be present in the early stages of this cancer, but as the disease progresses one may experience:
- Back pain
- Blood in the urine
- Painful and frequent urination
- Unintentional weight loss
What causes transitional cell carcinoma?
Medical professionals are not sure of the exact cause of this cancer, but they have identified a number of risk factors. In some cases, genetic factors play a role. In others, risk factors include working in a chemical or plastic industry, smoking, exposure to coal, tar, or asphalt, abuse of phenacetin, and the use of cancer drugs like ifosfamide.
How is transitional cell carcinoma diagnosed?
This type of cancer can be difficult to diagnose. A physician will begin with a physical exam, which will be followed with urinalysis. Other tests that may be used include MRI, ultrasound, CT scan, IVP, biopsy, and ureteroscopy.
What are the treatments for transitional cell carcinoma?
Treatment options include segmental resection, laser surgery, endoscopic resection, nephroureterectomy, and fulguration. Once one is in remission, doctors may use chemotherapy, biological therapies, and anticancer drugs.