Genito urological cancers

The oncology genito urological team cares for patients with germ cell tumours including testicular cancer post orchidectomy (surgical removal of testicle), post salpingectomy (surgical removal of the ovary), or an extragonadal germ cell tumour in the chest (mediastinum) or tummy (abdomen).

The germ cell practice treats patients with stage 1 disease through to stage 4 (advanced/ metastatic) disease. Advanced disease in this tumour site is still a curable cancer. This service includes stem cell transplant and further curative or palliative therapies.

We also care for patients diagnosed with:

  • Advanced prostate cancer
  • Advanced bladder cancer
  • Advanced renal cancer patients.
  • Thymic cancer, Thymoma’s and some rare lung cancers angiomiolipoma’s which are not suitable for surgery.

We largely treat patients who have advanced (metastatic) disease. Urological cancer that is advanced (metastatic) means that your cancer has moved out of the primary site into other areas such as lymph nodes, other organs, or bones.

This oncology service is based at St Bartholomew's Hospital and works with the urology teams at our other hospitals.

Your treatment options

The oncology genito urological team at Barts Health have regular meetings called MDTs (multidisciplinary team meetings) this is where a group of health professionals with expert knowledge in cancers of the urological systems will manage your investigations and treatment. We might present your case at the germ cell MDT, urology MDT or at the bone marrow stem cell transplant meeting (germ cell patients).

You do not attend the meeting but a member of the  team, usually the secretary will contact you with an appointment to come to clinic to discuss these findings in person. Your specialist nurse will not be able to tell you about the results of the meeting over the telephone before your clinic appointment. You may be given a choice of treatment options, which your specialist will discuss with you. If you do not understand what you've been told, let the staff know so they can explain again.

Before you have any treatment, you will need to give permission (consent).

Further information about the treatments for urological cancers can be found on the websites below:

Your investigations

Your doctor may need to do a series of tests to find out more about the cancer. One of these tests is a biopsy. This is when a small sample of cells is removed from the primary or secondary cancer and examined under a microscope.

You might have a kidney removed (nephrectomy).

You might have had your prostate removed or had radiotherapy to treat prostate cancer in the past.

You might have your bladder removed (cystectomy) or had radiotherapy to treat your bladder cancer in the past.  

You might have had a testicle removed (orchidectomy / surgical removal of testicle),

You might have had surgical removal of the Ovary (salpingectomy).

You will might have a CT (computerised tomography) scan or MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan. These scans build up a picture of the inside of your body.

Further information about all cancer investigations can be found on the Macmillan website.

Waiting for your test results can be a difficult time. It may take a few days or a couple of weeks for test results to be ready. You may find it helpful to talk with your partner, family or a close friend. Your specialist nurse or one of the organisations listed below can also provide limited support. Your results will be only issued at a clinic appointment.

Your appointments

The GU clinics are at St Bartholomew’s Hospital, and are all day on Tuesdays and Thursday’s. If you need hospital transport this can be arranged.

In some cases, we can also help with the cost of transport please ask your specialist nurse or visit the Macmillan Information Centre in the hospital you are visiting about this.

You will see your specialist doctor in the clinic after the multidisciplinary team has met. Your doctor might talk to you about:

  • The aims of treatment
  • Possible side effects
  • How treatment might affect you.

You can also talk to them about any concerns you may have.

It may be a good idea to take someone with you when the treatment options are first explained. You may also find it useful to have a list of questions ready to make sure you get the information you need.

 

Your care team

The genito urological team includes the following staff:

Oncologist

Doctor trained in diagnosing and treating cancer patients.

Consultant Radiologist

A doctor who is expert in interpreting

X-rays and scans. They may also perform biopsies (taking tissue samples) with the aid of imaging techniques.

Consultant Pathologist

A doctor who looks at tissue samples under a microscope to search for cancer cells.

Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)

An experienced cancer nurse who acts as your key worker. They will give you advice and support as you go through investigations and treatment and support you through your care pathway.

Multi-disciplinary team co-ordinator

The co-ordinator provides administrative support to the team and aims to ease the pathway from referral to treatment.

The oncology GU team are a team of experts and will work with you to conduct and provide the best care plan possible.

If you have any concerns, please talk to the team who will be considerate of your decisions and wishes.

Information for professionals

The oncology GU service does not replace the established two week wait pathways.

For urgent GU referrals please contact the SpR on call via switchboard.

Suspected metastatic germ cell cases should be urgently raised with the medical oncology consultants via our switchboard

GP referrals for suspected advanced prostate, bladder, renal should be made via the trust multi-disciplinary rapid access diagnostic centre using the dedicated referral form and sending it via ERS. The service can be found under 2WW Urology / Medical Oncology.

We are available to GP / HCP enquires via email from Monday - Friday between 9am - 5pm.