Urological cancers

Urological cancers include cancer of the prostate gland, bladder, kidneys, testes and penis.

NHS Choices has more information about:

What to expect at your appointment

Your first appointment at hospital may take between 45 minutes and two hours. You may have tests and investigations on the same day or at a later date.

You will be assessed at one of our weekly one-stop or rapid-access clinics. These allow you to have a consultation with a urologist (specialist doctor) or another member of our urology team and have a range of investigations at the same visit, if necessary.

The doctor will ask you about your symptoms and your general health and examine you. They will then send you for any tests you need.

At the end of your visit, we usually give you your test results and a possible diagnosis. We may also discuss with you what happens next, including any other tests you need as well as possible treatments.

You may also meet the clinical nurse specialist (CNS) who will be your key worker during your care. They will explain your test and treatment options and support you and your family. You will also be given written information about the type of cancer you have, your treatment options, and other sources of support, such as our King's Macmillan Information and Support Centre.

We usually send you appointment letters for tests, investigations or treatments by post.

Tests & investigations

At your first appointment you may have one or more of the following tests or you may be asked to return at a later date to have them. They help us to find out whether you have cancer and to assess your treatment options.

You have all tests and investigations at King’s: in our Urology Department, the Day Surgery Unit or one of the main surgery theatres. They include:

For prostate cancer
For bladder cancer
  • Blood tests
  • CT scan with contast dye
  • Cystolithopaxy, a procedure used to break up kidney stones
  • Flow rate
  • PET scan
  • Several types of endoscopy including ureteroscopy and flexible and/or blue light cystoscopy at Guy's Hospital
  • Ultrasound scan of your bladder
  • Urine tests, including microscopy culture and sensitivity and cytology
  • Urodynamics
  • X-rays of your kidneys, ureter and bladder
For kidney cancer
  • A type of endoscopy called ureterorenoscopy
  • Blood tests
  • CT scan with intravenous urogram (IVU), which involves having a dye injected into a vein in your arm. This travels through your bloodstream to your kidneys. The doctor can watch on a screen how the dye passes through your kidneys and see any problems.
  • Urine cytology
  • X-rays of your kidneys, ureter, bladder and abdomen (tummy)
For testicular cancer

Treatment

Your care and treatment depends on the type cancer you have, its size and where it is, how far it has advanced (the stage) and your overall health. The final decision about what treatment you have is yours.

Our team of specialists will review the results of your tests and investigations at a urology cancer meeting. We usually arrange for you to discuss your treatment options with your consultant or another member of our urology team on the same day as this meeting. We will give you an individual Patient Information Prescription (PIP) which fully explains your cancer and the planned treatment.

Your care usually includes one or more or a combination of treatments.

For prostate cancer
  • Radiotherapy and hormone therapy.
    • Some patients having this type of treatment who have problems passing urine may have photo-selective vaporization of the prostate (PVP), a type of surgery that uses a high-powered laser to vaporise (burn away) tissue.
  • Active surveillance at King's. This means monitoring the localised cancer rather than treating it straight away, so avoiding treatment unless there are signs your cancer may be growing.
  • A type of internal radiotherapy called brachytherapy, at Guy's Hospital.
  • Robot-assisted radical prostatectomy surgery at Guy's.
For bladder cancer
  • Transurethral resection of bladder tumour (TURBT) at King's.
  • Intravesical chemotherapy at King's.
  • Radical cystectomy surgery at Guy’s.
For testicular cancer
  • Radical orchidectomy (removal of testical/s) surgery at King‘s (and in some cases followed by chemotherapy).
Other treatment

Who to contact

At your first appointment, we will tell you who your key worker is, and how and when you can contact them. Your key worker is usually a clinical nurse specialist (CNS).

Urological Oncology Clinical Nurse Specialists

Lawrence Drudge-Coates
Tel: +44 (0)20 3299 4352
E-mail: ldrudge-coates@nhs.net

Vitra Khati
Tel: +44 (0)20 3299 1371
Email: vitra.khati@nhs.net

Out of hours

Contact your GP, or if you have just come out of hospital, contact the ward for advice by calling the main switchboard on 020 3299 9000. In an emergency, go to your nearest Emergency Department (ED).

If you can’t contact your key worker

You can call King’s Cancer Helpline on +44 (0)20 3299 5228, 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

Our team

Your care will be provided by a group of experts called a multidisciplinary team (MDT). This is a group of doctors, nurses and other health professionals with expertise in a specific cancer. This team will discuss and manage your care and plan the treatment that’s best for you. Our team includes:

Consultant Urologists
  • Mr Christian Brown
  • Mr Philippe Grange
  • Mr Gordon Kooiman, Lead Consultant Urologist
  • Mr Gordon Muir
  • Mr Johan Poulsen
  • Mr Peter Thompson
Consultant Oncologists
  • Dr Simon Chowdhury
  • Dr Stephen Morris

How we support you

We want to make sure that you get all the assistance you need to live well with – and after – cancer. There’s a wide range of support available to help you cope with cancer, including physical, emotional and practical advice for you, your family, friends and carers.