The genitourinary oncology staff at the University of Florida form a comprehensive, multidisciplinary oncology service. Faculty physicians from Radiation Oncology, Urologic Surgical Oncology, and Medical Oncology all maintain clinical services within the Shands Cancer Center, with patients seen by any or all indicated services every weekday. A weekly multidisciplinary tumor conference, or tumor board, is held on Tuesday mornings to review new and active clinical cases, with formulation of treatment recommendations based on both institutional and national clinical research and experience.
Radiation Therapy for Prostate Cancer – An Overview in English
The genitourinary oncology service both participates in NCI-sponsored treatments protocols and maintains institutional treatment protocols for the management of prostate, bladder, and testicular cancers. Patients treated at the Shands Hospitals and Clinics are closely followed in both prospective and retrospective clinical outcome reviews emphasized by the educational and research commitment of the University of Florida.
Radiation Therapy for Prostate Cancer – An Overview in Spanish
Patients with bladder cancer may be treated with either surgical removal of the bladder (cystectomy) followed by chemotherapy or radiation therapy, or by radiation therapy and chemotherapy with the bladder intact. Research studies are frequently in progress involving new ways to treat bladder cancer.
In most cases surgical removal of the bladder is recommended. When treatment with radiation therapy and chemotherapy is likely to be effective, the usual program is to treat the patient with approximately 6 months of chemotherapy and 7 weeks of external beam radiation therapy. Radiation therapy usually begins after 2 months of chemotherapy. Radiation treatments are usually given once a day, 5 days per week, for 7 continuous weeks. Chemotherapy is given several times during the course of radiation treatment. Side-effects of radiation therapy for bladder cancer may include fatigue, diarrhea, and irritation with urination.
To establish a diagnosis, most patients undergo surgical removal of the testicle. From the standpoint of needing radiation therapy, testicular cancer can be classified into two main types: seminoma and nonseminoma. Nonseminomatous testicular cancer is usually not treated with radiation therapy.
Seminomatous testicular cancer is treated with either radiation therapy or chemotherapy. When patients have no evidence of tumor outside the testicle (stage I seminoma), the options are to treat the lymph nodes in the abdomen (paraaortic lymph nodes) with radiation therapy or to monitor the patient with frequent CT scans without additional therapy. At the University of Florida, most patients with early-stage seminoma are treated with radiation therapy because the cure rate after radiation therapy in this setting is almost 100% and toxicity is low. The usual radiation therapy program for stage I seminoma involves 3.5 weeks of external beam radiotherapy with treatments given once a day, 5 days per week. Some patients loss their appetite or get nauseated during radiotherapy.
Kidney/renal cell cancer
Cancer of the kidney is usually treated with surgery. Radiation therapy is not used in most cases. Radiation therapy may be useful when tumor remains after surgery in an area that can be safely treated with radiotherapy.
When radiotherapy is likely to be safe and effective patients are usually treated with approximately 6 weeks of external beam radiotherapy with treatments given once a day, 5 days per week. Side effects of radiotherapy in this setting may include fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, and diarrhea. Medications are usually effective at controlling side-effects so that most patients tolerate radiation therapy well.
The chance of being cured of kidney cancer depends on may factors—most importantly, the size and extent of the tumor. In general, patients with small tumors that are confined to the kidney have a high (approximately 90%) chance of being cured, but those with tumors that extend outside the kidney are cured less than 50% of the time.