Patient Experience

Patient Experience


The Urology Unit in St James’s Hospital 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.

  • Testicular cancer is a cancer that arises in the male testicles and most often appears as a lump in the testicles. Testicular cancer is diagnosed by blood tests and an ultrasound of the testicles. The only way your doctor can confirm a diagnosis of testicular cancer is by removing tissue for examination under a microscope. Testicular cancer often begins in the germ cells of the testicles, the cells used to make sperm. In some cases, testicular cancer can spread to the lymph glands at the back of the abdomen, neck or chest. There are two types of germ cell tumours:

    • Seminomas, which usually develop between the ages of 30 and 50. They usually grow slowly and respond very well to treatment.
    • Non-Seminomas, which usually develop between the age of 15 and the early 40s. They tend to grow and spread faster than Seminomas.

    There are three stages of testicular cancer. The stage will be determined by:

    • The size of the tumour.
    • Whether lymph nodes are involved.
    • Whether the cancer has spread to other organs in the body.
    • Whether tumour markers are present. Some testicular tumours make chemicals that can be found in your bloodstream; these are called tumour markers.

    There are other types of testicular lumps that may be non-cancerous.

  • The initial surgical management is removal of the affected testicle (Orchidectomy).  Your treatment will, however, be planned based on the type and stage of cancer you have, the two main forms being Seminomas and Non-Seminomas. Following diagnosis, it is likely that you will have further blood tests and CT scans.

    • The management of Seminomas depends on the extent of spread of the cancer. Surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy are all used to treat Seminoma. The stage of cancer will dictate the treatment options offered to you.
    • Non-Seminomas are usually treated with surgery and chemotherapy. Both work very well and cure most of these cancers.

    After treatment, you will be monitored closely. Blood tests, X-rays or scans will be performed to check for disease recurrence.

  • 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:

    • Ms Tanya Conroy
    • Ms Marian O’Brien
    • Ms Grainne Kelly
    • Ms Joyce Raymonde

    Advanced Nurse Practitioner (Candidate), Prostate Cancer

    • Ms Anna Loughlin

    Urology Cancer Data Manager

    • Ms Lynn Geraghty

    Radiation Oncologists, who specialise in radiotherapy:

    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 

    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.

    Freefone: 1800 200 700

    ARC House is located at 559 South Circular Road, close to the Rialto exit of the hospital. ARC cancer centre provides support and information for people affected by cancer. ARC also run courses specifically for men living with prostate cancer.

    Phone: (01) 707 8880

    Other Resources

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

    Irish Cancer Society:

    Action Cancer:

    Cancer Network Buddies:

    Macmillan Cancer Support (UK):

    Royal Marsden Hospital Foundation NHS Trust:

    Mayo Clinic (U.S.):