Common Urology Problems


In many cases, urinary tract cancers present themselves with a number of symptoms, or none at all. Common varieties include Prostate Cancer, Kidney Cancer, Bladder Cancer, and Testicular Cancer. If you or a loved has received a urologic cancer diagnosis or believes that you may, Western Michigan Urological Associates has the expert knowledge and compassionate care you need. We provide world-class care from the initial visit and evaluation through treatment, recovery, and follow-up consultations.


  • • Prostate cancer
  • • Kidney cancer
  • • Bladder cancer
  • • Testicular cancer


Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in men, and is second only to lung cancer in the number of cancer deaths. Prostate cancer is most commonly found in men over the age of 50, and greater than 65 percent of all cases are diagnosed in men 65 years and older as the incidence of prostate cancer increases with age. The prostate is the walnut-sized organ located just below the bladder and in front of the rectum that produces fluid that makes up a part of semen.
The American Cancer Society and American Urologic Association recommend prostate cancer screening starting beginning at age 40 for most men. Generally, prostate cancer is symptomatic at early states. Depending on your screening results a prostate biopsy may be recommended.

Treatment options for PROSTATE CANCER:

We know it can be difficult to discuss treatment plans for prostate cancer. Our doctors are here to help make you to feel at ease throughout the treatment process. What can you expect with the different treatment options?

  • • Active Surveillance, observation, is used in some cases of low-risk disease, as well as among older patients for whom active treatment with surgery or radiation therapy may not be possible or necessary. Active surveillance is most often used because some prostate cancers may never become life threatening.
  • • Radical Retropubic Prostatectomy (RRP) – involves removing the prostate gland and surrounding lymph nodes through a small open incision above the pubic bone. The procedure can be used to treat a range of prostate cancer, including low, intermediate, and high-risk localized prostate cancers. Depending on the stage and risk, radical retropubic prostatectomy can be performed with nerve-sparing, which provides the best chance of return of erections following surgery in men with good erectile function before treatment.
  • • Robotic-Assisted Laparoscopic Prostatectomy (RALP) is the most common surgical treatment for prostate cancer. This approach uses laparoscopy as well as small surgical working elements that replicate human hand movement. Generally, RALP means less blood loss, a lower chance of a needed blood transfusion, decreased pain after surgery, and shorter recovery.
  • • Radical Perineal Prostatectomy involves removing the prostate through an incision in the area between the scrotum and anus. Perineal prostatectomy is relatively uncommon, but is still used in certain cases, such as in larger patients in which getting to the prostate from pelvis would be difficult.
  • • 3D Conformal and Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy – Radiation therapy can be used to manage low and high-risk cases. This approach targets the prostate with the aid of image guiding to more accurately deliver radiation doses to the prostate with less radiation exposure to surrounding tissues.
  • • Interstitial Prostate Brachytherapy places small radioactive pellets, or “seeds” into the prostate. Generally, this treatment can be used for small to normal sized prostates.

Kidney cancer is commonly found in males over 40 years old. A majority of kidney cancers occur spontaneously, although some are a result of hereditary conditions. There are several different types of kidney cancer based on what symptoms you may be experiencing, including:

  • • Local Kidney Cancer – Roughly 60 percent of kidney cancers are diagnosed at a localized stage (cancer confined to kidney without spread). Localized cancers may not have symptoms or may be associated with hematuria (blood in the urine), flank pain or abdominal discomfort. Surgery is the most effective treatment.
  • • Advanced Kidney Cancer – Approximately 40 percent of kidney cancers are diagnosed at an advanced stage that has spread to surrounding structures, lymph nodes or metastasis to more distant sites. Common sites of metastatic spread include the lung, bone and brain.

Treatment options for KIDNEY CANCER:

We know it can be difficult to discuss your treatment plan for urologic cancer. Our doctors are here to help make you to feel at ease throughout the treatment process. What can you expect with the different treatment options?

  • • Active surveillance of small, early-stage, low-risk kidney cancers may be an option for those not interested in surgery or ablative therapy. Active surveillance may be appropriate for older individuals with small kidney tumors for whom surgery risk is too great.
  • • Ablative therapies use radiofrequency energy and extremely low temperatures to cause tissue destruction. Ablative therapy is most commonly used in older or medically unhealthy patients for whom surgical risk is too great.
  • • Partial nephrectomy includes the removal of the tumor without removing the entire kidney and is often recommended for smaller kidney tumors, in patients with a single kidney or tumors in both kidneys. We may also recommend this procedure for patients with diabetes or hypertension to preserve as much renal function as possible. This can be done through a conventional (larger) incision or with a robotically assisted laparoscopic approach.
  • • Radical nephrectomy consists of removing the entire kidney with the surrounding tissue. This approach is most often used in cases in which a partial nephrectomy is not possible because of tumor size or location. Radical nephrectomy is also the standard treatment for high-risk kidney cancers.


Bladder Cancer is most common in men over the age of 60. There are two broad categories of bladder cancer based on what symptoms you may be experiencing, including:

  • • Non-Muscle Invasive Bladder Cancer — Approximately 70 percent of patients have non-muscle invasive cancer
  • • Muscle-Invasive And Advanced Bladder Cancer — Between 20 percent and 25 percent of bladder cancer cases are muscle-invasive

Treatment options for BLADDER CANCER:

We know processing this information and planning treatment can be difficult. Our doctors are here to help make you to feel at ease throughout the treatment process. Here are some things you can expect with the different treatment options. If the cancer has spread into the bladder wall or outside the bladder, treatment may include:

  • • Cystectomy With Urinary Diversion — In men, the bladder and prostate are identified, dissected and removed. Surrounding lymph nodes are removed to assess the extent or spread of the cancer.
  • • Chemotherapy — A systemic treatment in which drugs are given throughout the entire body. It’s designed to kill cancer cells. Typically, it is administered intravenously (through a vein).
  • • Radiation Therapy with Chemotherapy — Radiation uses high-energy x-rays to destroy cancer cells. The addition of systemic chemotherapy makes cancer cells more vulnerable to the killing effects of radiation. Radiation therapy is also used to relieve symptoms of advanced bladder.

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