Recognising genitourinary (GU) cancer First steps – diagnosis to treatment
Canopy Cancer Care is a leading private clinic for adult cancer patients. Our team specialises in the care of patients requiring cancer treatment. The Canopy vision is to offer New Zealanders the option of world-class cancer care, delivered locally, right here in New Zealand. Every day and with every patient we work towards this goal. The Canopy team has been providing an international standard of care since 2010. During this time we have built a strong team who are all passionate about our patients and the outcomes that matter to them most.
We have world class facilities located in
Tauranga, Bay of Plenty
Rotorua, Bay of Plenty
Hastings, Hawke's Bay
What is genitourinary cancer?
Genitourinary (GU) cancers is a specialised field focusing on cancers found in the urinary system and the male reproductive system. These include prostate cancer, renal cancer, bladder cancer, testicular and cancer of the penis.
Types of prostate cancer
Adenocarcinoma – 99% of Prostate cancer
Early warning signs of prostate cancer
is this type.
Burning or pain during urination
Difficulty urinating or trouble starting and stopping whilst urinating
Loss of bladder control
Decreased flow or velocity of urine stream
Blood in urine (Haematuria)
Blood in semen
Each year in New Zealand approximately 3,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer and approximately 600 men die from the disease; 80% of diagnoses are for men aged 60 years or more. 4 in every 100 male deaths are due to Prostate cancer
The 5 year survival rate for most men with local or regional prostate cancer is nearly 100%. For men diagnosed with prostate cancer that has spread to other parts of the body the 5 year survival rate is 30%.
Potential risk factors
Age – Prostate cancer mainly affects men over the age of 50 and the risk increases with age
Family history – chance of prostate cancer is doubled if father or brother has a history of prostate cancer
Urothelial cancers encompass carcinomas of the bladder, ureters and renal pelvis. Patients with cancer of the upper urinary tract have a 30 – 50% chance of developing cancer of the bladder at some point in their lives.
Types of bladder cancer
Non muscle invasive bladder cancer (Superficial bladder cancer) – tumours found in the inner lining of the bladder, the urothelium or in the lamina propria.
Muscle invasive bladder cancer – cancer has spread beyond the urothelium and lamina propria into the muscle (muscularis propria) or surrounding fatty tissue (perivesical tissue).
Histological types of bladder cancer:
Urothelial cancer – 80 – 90% start in urothelial cells lining the bladder wall. Sometimes called TCC.
Squamous cell carcinoma – accounts for 1 – 2% of all bladder cancer and more likely to be invasive.
Adenocarcinoma – accounts for about 1% of all cases and likely to be invasive.
The incidence of bladder cancer at 65 years and above is nearly six times higher than at 45 – 64 years and the mortality is 12 times higher in the older age group.
The general 5 year survival rate for people with bladder cancer is 77%. The overall 10 year survival rate is 70% and 15 year survival rate is 65%. Survival rates depend on type and stage of bladder cancer when diagnosed.
Potential risk factors
Cause not always clear, but the risk of developing bladder cancer increases with
Gender – men are 3 – 4 times more likely to develop bladder cancer
Chronic urinary tract infections
Unsafe exposure to some industrial chemicals
Signs of bladder cancer
Blood in urine (Haematuria)
Urinary frequency or urgency
Pain on urination
Types of cancer
In men under 60, 95% of testicular tumours originate in the germ cells. These tumours fall into one of two types:
According to New Zealand MoH statistics, 137 cases of testicular cancer were diagnosed in NZ in 2013 (34 Maori) and 6 men died from their cancer.
Now almost 90% of men with metastatic disease are cured of their cancer. The survival rate for men diagnosed with Stage 1 seminoma is about 99%. The survival rate for Stage 1 non-seminoma is about 98%.
Potential risk factors:
Risk is higher than average if born with undescended testicles or cryptorchidism
In NZ risk is higher in Maori population although cause unknown
Signs or symptoms of testicular cancer
Painless lump found in either testicle
Feeling of heaviness in the scrotum
Swelling of the scrotum
Pain, discomfort or numbness in a testicle or the scrotum with or without swelling
Dull ache in the lower abdomen or groin
Swollen lymph nodes
Lower back pain
Why choose Canopy?
Quick appointment times
-our target is to have our patients seen by a Specialist within 7 days.
The highest professional standards
-comes from selecting only highly experienced and dedicated Specialists, nurses and support staff.
Personalised treatment plans
by professionals committed to delivering quality care, patient experience and outcomes.
Global sourcing of therapies
– we will reach across the globe to ensure patients have access to the most effective drug therapies
Individualised patient care program
– with a focus on outcomes that matter to patients, the Under the Canopy program has been specifically designed to support patients navigate their personal cancer journey as comfortably as possible.
Purpose designed treatment clinics
– ensuring a calm and relaxed healing environment.
– an online news channel for the cancer community
Specialist on call 24/7
– for complete peace of mind.
Evidence based care and external accreditation
– to ensure we are delivering world class care and treatment options
Canopy Cancer GU tumour team
The Canopy genitourinary team is made up of a group of medical oncologists focused on the cancers of the urinary system and male reproductive organs. This team is made up of Dr Fritha Hanning, Peter Fong, Osama Salih and Carmel Jacobs in Auckland; Drs Vince Newton in Whangarei and Richard North, Michelle Head and Elliot Brenman in Tauranga.
The team is supported by specialist genitourinary nurses Karen Nolan and Samantha James. If you have an adult or young adult patient with a GU cancer, please contact Canopy Cancer Care with a referral to the GU team.
Canopy specialise in the care of patients requiring intensive surveillance, treatment with hormone therapy, chemotherapy and immunotherapy therapies.
Treatment options and referral options
If you have a patient experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned, they may need to see a