GP Update

Q&A: Urological cancers

The questions below were raised - and answered by our expert consultants - at one of our regular GP Education Days

Mr Pardeep Kumar, Consultant Urological Surgeon, with a patient

Mr Pardeep Kumar, Consultant Urological Surgeon, with a patient

Which is better for diagnosing haematuria - urine dipstick or microscopic RBC count?

A urine dipstick will not culture a UTI (which is the most likely cause of haematuria). A midstream specimen of urine (MSU) should be undertaken. If the result is negative, please refer to The Royal Marsden for further tests.

What is the role of ultrasound scan in diagnosing prostate cancer?

An ultrasound does not diagnose prostate cancer, however it is used to measure the size of the prostate or as a guide to carry out prostate biopsies.

What are the top three most common long term complications of radiotherapy?

The complications of radiotherapy depend entirely on where the tumour was, as treatment is targeted precisely to this area.

Common long term complications of prostate radiotherapy include:

  • bowel irritation (diarrhoea, proctitis and bleeding)
  • genitourinary distress (dysuria and lower urinary tract symptoms)
  • erectile dysfunction

Other side effects are very rare with modern radiotherapy techniques.

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