Cancer Types

Cancer can be caused by a number of factors, including:
  • Cigarette smoking. Smoking increases the risk of developing bladder cancer nearly fivefold. As many as 50% of all bladder cancers in men and 30% in women may be caused by cigarette smoke. People who quit smoking have a gradual decline in risk.
  • Chemical exposure. Exposure to cancer-causing chemicals (carcinogens), especially on the job, can increase your risk of cancer.
  • Radiation and chemotherapy. Treatments for other cancers may contribute to the development of other types of cancer in the future.
  • Infections. Long-term (chronic) infections or irritation may lead to the development of cancer. Infections can be by bacteria or parasites.
We offer advanced cancer treatment at each of our Cancer Centers, including treatment for the following cancer types:

Bone Cancer (Osteosarcoma)

Known by many names, bone cancer is a growth of abnormal cells in one of more of your bones.

Symptoms

  • Dull, aching pain
  • Weakness of bone around tumor, often fracturing or breaking

Treatment

Surgery and radiation therapy are often used. Treatment depends on the location and severity of the tumor(s).

Bladder Cancer

Bladder cancer is a cancerous tumor in the bladder – the organ that holds urine. In the United States, bladder cancers usually start from the cells lining the bladder (transitional cells). Tumors may be classified based on the way they grow:

  • Papillary tumors have a wart-like appearance and are attached to a stalk.
  • Nonpapillary tumors, though much less common, are more invasive and harder to treat.

Bladder cancers are classified or staged based on their aggressiveness and how much they differ from the surrounding bladder tissue, normally using the TNM staging system. This system lists stages on a scale of 0-IV. When left undiagnosed or untreated, bladder cancer can spread into nearby organs, including the prostate, rectum, ureters, uterus, vagina, and also your bones, liver or lungs.

Symptoms

  • Blood in the urine
  • Painful urination
  • Urinary frequency or urgency
  • Abdominal pain
  • Anemia
  • Bone pain or tenderness
  • Feeling tired (lethargy)
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Unexplained weight loss

Treatment

The choice of treatment depends on the stage of the tumor, severity of symptoms and presence of other medical conditions. Treatment can include:
  • Surgery to remove the tumor without removing the rest of the bladder
  • Chemotherapy or immunotherapy directly into the bladder
  • Surgery to remove the entire bladder (radical cystectomy)
  • Surgery to remove only part of the bladder, followed by radiation and chemotherapy
  • Chemotherapy to shrink the tumor before surgery
  • A combination of chemotherapy and radiation (in patients who choose not to have surgery or who cannot have surgery)

Brain Cancer

An abnormal growth of cells within your brain, brain cancer can be difficult to diagnose and treat depending on where the tumor occurs.

Symptoms

  • Headaches
  • Blurred or other vision problems
  • Confusion
  • Balance issues
  • Seizures

Treatment

Surgery, chemotherapy and radiation may all be used, depending on the location and size of the tumor.

Breast Cancer

A well-known cancer, breast cancer can be highly treatable and can be preventable. Visit our Breast Cancer and Mammogram Services page for more information on the prevention and treatment of breast cancer.

Cervical Cancer

Humanpapilloma virus (HPV) causes cervical cancer and is a very common infection that can be spread from person to person. Some types of HPV are spread through sexual contact.

A simple test, the Papanicolaou (Pap) smear, has contributed greatly to the early detection of cervical cancer and has been credited with reducing its mortality (death) rates. Cervical cancer mortality has decreased by more than 70 percent since the introduction of the test. Still, approximately 13,000 new cases of cervical cancer and around 4,500 deaths occur each year in the United States.

Treatment

HPV itself is never treated, but symptoms and signs of the virus are. Minor Pap test abnormalities do not need treatment because most will go away on their own. Other abnormalities may be treated with freezing, burning, or cutting away the abnormal tissue. Self-administered cream may be used for genital warts.

HPV Vaccine

We offer Gardasil®, the only cervical cancer vaccine that helps protect against four types of HPV, including the two types that cause 70% of cervical cancer cases and two more types that cause 90% of genital warts. Gardasil is only for girls and young women ages 9 to 26 because the clinical trials for the drug only included females within this age group. Many women who have HPV are first exposed to it in their teens and 20s.

It’s important to understand that the HPV vaccine does not take the place of Pap tests. You should always follow your doctor’s advice on when to get Pap tests. Only you and your doctor can decide if the HPV vaccine is right for you.

Colon Cancer

Colon cancer, also called colorectal cancer, develops from noncancerous polyps found in the colon or rectum. Risk of colon cancer increases with age, but can be diagnosed with colonoscopies and other screenings.

Symptoms

  • Abdominal pain
  • Change in bowel movements
  • Loose or watery stools
  • Blood in your stool

Treatment

Surgery, chemotherapy and radiation can all be used to treat colon cancer depending on the size of the tumors, location within your colon and if the cancer has spread to other areas of your body.

Head & Neck (Throat) Cancer

Cancer affecting your mouth, nose, throat/neck or sinuses.

Symptoms

  • Pain in your mouth, nose, throat/neck or sinuses
  • Trouble swallowing

Treatment

Surgery, chemotherapy and radiation can all be used. Treatment will be determined by the location and severity of the cancer.

Lung Cancer

Differentiated into small cell and non-small cell, lung cancer comes from the growth of abnormal cells (tumors) in your lungs.

Symptoms

  • Persistent cough
  • Unexpected weight loss
  • Wheezing
  • Bloody cough

Treatment

Surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy are all options for treatment

Lymphoma

Lymphoma is cancer in your lymphatic system, which includes your lymph nodes, bone marrow, spleen and thymus gland. Your lymphatic system is a network that connects your entire body, acting as a highway to move cells from your immune system quickly throughout your body. It is commonly divided into two categories: Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.

Symptoms

  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Night sweats
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Shortness of breath
  • Unexpected weight loss

Treatment

Chemotherapy, radiation and medications can all be used. In rare cases, stem cell therapy may be offered as a course of treatment.

Penile Cancer

Cancer of the penis is cancer that starts in the penis. Smegma, a cheese-like, foul-smelling substance found under the foreskin of the penis may increase the risk of penis cancer. Uncircumcised men who do not keep the area under the foreskin clean and men with a history of genital warts or human papillomavirus (HPV) are at higher risk for this rare disorder.

Symptoms

  • Genital lesions on the penis
  • Painless sore on penis (occasionally, the lesion may cause pain)
  • Penis pain and bleeding from the penis (may occur with advanced disease)

Treatment

Treatment depends on the location of the tumor and how much it has spread. In general, cancer treatment includes:

  • Chemotherapy - uses medicines to kill cancer cells
  • Radiation - using high powered x-rays to kill cancer cells
  • Surgery - cuts out and removes the cancer

If the tumor is small and near the tip of the penis, surgery may be done to remove only the cancerous part of the penis. This is called a partial penectomy. For more severe tumors, total removal of the penis (total penectomy) is often necessary. A new opening will be created in the groin area to allow urine to exit the body. This procedure is called a urethrostomy.

Chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy can be prescribed in combination with surgery. A type of radiation therapy called external beam therapy is often used, which delivers radiation to the penis from outside the body.

Prostate Cancer

One of the most common cancers in men, if caught early Prostate Cancer can be treated successfully. Some prostate cancers grow and spread quickly, but most grow slowly.

Symptoms

There are usually no early signs of prostate cancer. Symptoms are not related to the cancer itself, but blockage from the cancer or tumor. These symptoms can also be associated with non-cancerous conditions, like BPH or an enlarged prostate.

Symptoms include:
  • Frequent urination, especially at night
  • Difficulty starting or stopping your urine stream
  • A weak urine stream or inability to urinate standing up
  • Leaking urine when laughing or coughing
  • A painful or burning sensation during urination or ejaculation
  • Blood in your urine or semen
  • Pain or stiffness in the pelvis, lower back, chest or upper thighs
  • Loss of weight and appetite
  • Fatigue
  • An upset stomach
  • Swelling in the lower extremities
  • Weakness or paralysis in the lower limbs, often with constipation

Treatment

There are several treatment options available for prostate cancer. Treatment options vary by situation, but commonly include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, hormone therapy and vaccine treatments.

Since prostate cancer is often a slow growing cancer, your doctor may recommend “expectant management” or just keeping an eye on the cancer if you are over the age of 72. Research finds that older men with early stage prostate cancer are more likely to die from other causes.

Testicular Cancer

There is no link between vasectomy and testicular cancer, in fact, doctors aren’t quite sure what causes this rare cancer. Testicular cancer accounts for only 1% of all cancers in men in the U.S., but is the most common form of cancer in men age 15 - 40. In rare cases, it may occur at a younger age. White men are five times more likely to develop this type of cancer than African Americans, and twice as likely as Asian-American men.

There are two multiple types of testicular cancer:

  • Seminoma – this is a slow-growing form of testicular cancer usually found in men in their 30s and 40s. Though usually just in the testes, it can spread to the lymph nodes.
  • Nonseminoma – this more common type of testicular cancer grows more quickly than seminomas. Nonseminoma tumors are often made up of different cell types, and are identified according to the cells in which they start to grow. Nonseminoma testicular cancers include choriocarcinomar (rare), embryonal carcinoma, teratoma and yolk sac tumor
  • .

A stromal tumor is a rare type of testicular tumor. Stromal tumors are usually not cancerous, and fall into two main types: Leydig cell tumors and Sertoli cell tumors. Leydig cells release the hormone testosterone, and Sertoli cells are where sperm matures. Stromal tumors may be seen during childhood.

Symptoms

  • Discomfort, pain, in the testicle or a feeling of heaviness in the scrotum
  • Dull ache in the back or lower abdomen
  • Enlargement of a testicle or a change in the way it feels
  • Excess development of breast tissue (gynecomastia)
  • Lump or swelling in either testicle
  • Symptoms in other parts of the body, such as the lungs, abdomen, pelvis, or brain (if the cancer has spread)

Treatment

Treatment depends on the type and stage of the tumor, as well as if it has spread to other body parts what they are. There are three types of treatment commonly used with testicular cancer:

  • Surgical treatment to remove the testicle (orchiectomy) and associated lymph nodes (lymphadenectomy).
  • Radiation therapy using high-dose x-rays or other high-energy rays may be used after surgery to prevent the tumor from returning. Radiation therapy is usually only used for treating seminomas.
  • Chemotherapy uses drugs such as cisplatin, bleomycin, and etoposide to kill cancer cells. This treatment has greatly improved survival for patients with both seminomas and nonseminomas.

Thyroid Cancer

This type of cancer can be treated, but often shows no symptoms until tumors grow to a large size.

Symptoms

  • Lumps (nodules) in neck
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Continuous cough not related to other illness

Treatment

Thyroid cancer can be treated through surgery, hormone therapy or radiation therapy. Your physician may also recommend chemotherapy.

Urethral Cancer

Your urethra is the tube that carries urine from the bladder to outside the body. In women, the urethra is about 1½ inches long and is just above the vagina. In men, the urethra is about 8 inches long, and goes through the prostate gland and the penis to the outside of the body. In men, the urethra also carries semen.

Urethral cancer is a rare cancer that occurs more often in women than in men. There are different types of urethral cancer that begin in cells that line the urethra. These cancers are named for the types of cells that become malignant (cancerous):

  • Squamous cell carcinoma is the most common type of urethral cancer. It forms in cells in the part of the urethra near the bladder in women, and in the lining of the urethra in the penis in men.
  • Transitional cell carcinoma forms in the area near the urethral opening in women, and in the part of the urethra that goes through the prostate gland in men.
  • Adenocarcinoma forms in glands near the urethra in both men and women