Urologic cancer treatments and therapies

Treatment for urologic cancer varies greatly from person to person. Your medical team may use any combination of surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, drug therapy, hormone therapy, or biotherapy (biologic therapy) to treat or control your cancer.

Effective treatment approaches

Surgery

Surgery is often the initial treatment for urologic cancer. Specially trained surgical oncologists remove the cancer mass and other affected areas using the minimally invasive precision technology of the robotic-assisted da Vinci® Si surgical system. You also have access to surgical advances that include nerve-sparing prostatectomy and cryosurgery, also known as targeted focal therapy (TFT).

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy uses drugs that slow down, damage, or kill cancer cells. It may involve single drugs or combinations of drugs taken intravenously or by mouth. Chemotherapy is often taken in cycles lasting three or four weeks each. Your team may also prescribe drugs to reduce or eliminate chemotherapy’s side effects.

Radiation therapy

Radiation therapy (radiotherapy) uses X-rays and other types of medical radiation aimed at specific parts of the body. The radiation kills cancer cells, prevents cancer cells from developing or recurring, and improves many of cancer’s symptoms. For certain cancers, radiation therapy is combined with chemotherapy and called chemo-radiotherapy.

Anti-cancer drugs & targeted therapies

Single drugs or combinations of drugs taken through intravenous injections or as prescribed tablets/capsules help fight the cancer itself or the side effects from chemotherapy. Drugs may be taken in repeating patterns (cycles) that usually last three to four weeks. Anti-cancer drugs or other substances that directly interfere with cancer growth and progression at the molecular level may be taken—with few side effects—on their own or combined with standard chemotherapy. Many new targeted therapies, including vaccines and gene therapies, are currently in development.

Hormone therapy

Because the presence of some hormones can cause certain cancers to grow, hormone therapy as a cancer treatment removes hormones or blocks their action to stop cancer cells from growing. If tests show that cancer cells can find places to attach (receptors), various treatments—drugs, surgery, radiation therapy—can be used to reduce hormone production or stop them from working.

Biologic therapy/immunotherapy

Biologic therapy, also known as immunotherapy, uses your own immune system to fight cancer. Substances made by the body or in a laboratory—such as Provenge® or PSA Complex—are used to boost, direct, or restore the body’s natural defenses against cancer.