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Introduction

The Urology Unit provides a multidisciplinary service that focuses on the diagnosis and management of patients with prostate, kidney, bladder, testicular and penile cancer. The unit has a strong commitment to improving patient quality of care and outcomes through research involving urological cancer diagnosis and treatment.

  • Most people have two kidneys. Your kidney is a small bean-shaped organ found on either side of your spine. One of the functions of the kidney is to make urine. Kidney cancer occurs when the cells in your kidney grow abnormally to form a tumor.  There are different forms of kidney cancer, the most common being renal cell carcinoma, cancer arising from the kidney cells, and transitional cell carcinoma, cancer arising from the lining of the urine conducting area. There are also rare kidney cancers such as sarcomas. Symptoms of kidney cancer can be vague at first, and are similar to symptoms of other conditions such as infection or kidney stones. The most common symptom is blood in the urine. There are a range of tests to check for kidney cancer. You may need to have one or more of the following tests:  blood tests, urine tests, ultrasound, CT scan, MRI scan or biopsy.

  • Surgery is the main treatment for kidney cancer. There are different types of surgery depending on the stage and type of cancer. Radiotherapy or chemotherapy may be considered if your cancer has advanced.

    • The removal of a kidney is called nephrectomy.
    • Partial nephrectomy describes when the part of the kidney containing the cancer is removed with the surrounding tissue.
    • Radical nephrectomy describes when the kidney, adrenal gland, nearby lymph nodes and nearby fatty tissue are removed.

    Nephrectomy surgery can be carried out using a keyhole, or laparoscopic, approach.

    If your cancer is small, there are other treatments that may be more suitable than nephrectomy, including:

    • Arterial Embolisation: A small incision is made in your groin and a tube is passed in under the guidance of an X-ray. Embolisation is performed to shrink the cancer by blocking the blood flowing to it. This stops the cancer cells getting oxygen and other materials that it needs to grow.
    • Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA): This treatment is carried out in the X-ray department under CT or ultrasound guidance. It uses heat to destroy the cancer cells. A needle-type instrument is placed in the kidney tumor through your skin, and a generator delivers an alternating current of energy to destroy the cells needed for the cancer to grow.
  • You will be cared for by a team of people who are experts in the different aspects of your treatment. The multidisciplinary team includes:

    Consultant Urologists, surgeons who specialise in urological surgery:

    Urology Clinical Nurse Specialists, who help to facilitate your care while supporting you and your family throughout treatment:

    • Ms Tanya Conroy
    • Ms Marian O’Brien
    • Ms Grainne Kelly
    • Ms Anna Loughlin
    • Ms Siobhan Ni Chinneide

    Urology Cancer Data Manager

    • Mary O'Brien

    Radiation Oncologists, who specialise in radiotherapy:

    Radiotherapy Liaison Nurse:

    • Ms A. O’Hara

    Consultant Oncologist, who specialises in chemotherapy treatments:

    • Dr D. O’Donnell

    You may also meet other members of our team, which includes junior doctors, specialist cancer nurse coordinators, X-ray staff, phlebotomy staff and secretarial personnel.

  • The Irish Cancer Society has a Daffodil Centre located on the ground floor of the hospital. The aim of the centre is to provide practical, psychological or financial support and information to anyone who is or has been affected by cancer.

    Phone: (01) 616 5604 
    Email: daffodilcentrestjames@irishcancer.ie

    Men Against Cancer (MAC) is a support group for men with prostate cancer. MAC provides men and their relatives and friends with information, advice and emotional support from time of diagnosis for as long as needed.

    Freephone: 1800 200 700
    Email: support@irishcancer.ie
    Website www.cancer.ie

    ARC House is located at 559 South Circular Road, close to the Rialto exit of the hospital. ARC cancer support centre provides people affected by cancer with support and information.

    Phone: (01) 707 8880
    Email: info@arccancersupport.ie
    Website: www.arccancersupport.ie

    Other Resources

    The following are websites of organisations offering information relating to the treatment and management of cancer:

    Irish Cancer Society: www.cancer.ie

    Action Cancer: www.actioncancer.org

    Cancer Network Buddies: www.cancerbuddiesnetwork.org

    Macmillan Cancer Support (UK): www.macmillan.org.uk

    Royal Marsden Hospital Foundation NHS Trust: www.royalmarsden.org

    Mayo Clinic (U.S.): www.mayoclinic.com