Urothelial cell carcinoma is a type of kidney cancer. It is the second most common type of kidney cancer, second only to renal cell carcinoma. Urothelial cell cancer occurs within the urinary system, and may affect the kidneys and the bladder. It occurs within the lining of these organs, and like most types of cancer, may spread to other organs within the body.
The symptoms of urothelial cell carcinoma cancers depend on the area of the body into which the cancer has spread. For example, a cancer that has occurred within the kidneys will often cause symptoms such as blood in the urine, a lump in the abdomen, abdominal pain, weakness, weight loss and feverishness. Signs of urothelial cell carcinoma cancer in the bladder, on the other hand include blood in the urine, pain when urinating, a frequent need to urinate, or inefficacious urination.
Certain factors increase the likelihood that an individual will fall victim to urothelial cell carcinoma. These include lifestyle factors such as cigarette smoke, a risk factor that is strongly associated with both kidney and bladder cancers, as well as other factors such as exposure to radiation, and the long-term taking of drugs including analgesics and the drugs cyclophosphamide and phenacetin, all of which have been linked with urinary cancers
Unlike some forms of cancer, urothelial cell carcinoma cancers tend not to be located in only one area. It is very common for urinary cancer patients to present with more than one tumour when they’re diagnosed: in fact, between 30-40% of patients will be found to have more than one tumour. The growth pattern of these cancers varies, however. In addition, the areas to which urinary cancers typically move can vary, with cancers occurring throughout the pelvis, and frequently into bone. Approximately 35% of these metastases occur in bone, and roughly two fifths of these occur in the spine.
Like renal cell carcinoma, urothelial cell carcinoma can be extremely tough to treat. If the cancer has not yet spread, then surgery is an option for many patients. However, while this may result in initial success, it is common for the cancer to reoccur. Chemotherapy is sometimes used as a treatment, and infusions of Bacillus Calmeete-Guerin, which helps to boost the immune system and therefore help the body in its fight against cancer.
Given the high mortality rate of urothelial cell carcinoma and its likelihood to spread, those suffering from this type of cancer may with to look to alternative treatments as a way to improve their condition of living, and as a potential way to guard against the recurrence of this type of cancer. Some alternative therapies are designed to help boost the immune system, and may provide some benefit against urothelial cell carcinoma and related cancers.