At the Center for Reconstructive Urology, we consider quality of life as important as quantity of life.
The GU Cancer Survivorship Program is a unique and much-needed multidisciplinary program that addresses quality of life issues before, during, and after cancer therapy.
Complications of cancer therapy can be serious and include sexual dysfunction, urinary leakage, and infertility. Often, in the effort to prolong life, these possible complications are not considered until the therapy is over. With our multidisciplinary approach, we help patients make choices before they begin cancer therapy that might help them avoid serious complications. When complications of therapy do occur, we have the latest surgical techniques and support staff available to address them.
Our team also has particular expertise in penile and urethral preserving surgeries that can avoid emmasculation in the treatment of genital cancers.
As a result of advances in early detection and treatment, the number of patients who are living well beyond their diagnosis of cancer has greatly expanded and will continue to do so in the foreseeable future. The American Cancer Society estimated that in 2012, there were 13.7 million cancer survivors in the USA, and by 2022, the number of survivors will approach 18 million. (American Cancer Society. Cancer Facts and Figures 2013. Atlanta, GA: ACS; 2013). Moreover, increased awareness of the symptoms, better technology, and adherence to screening protocols have all helped the number of cancer survivors to burgeon. Quality of life choices become increasingly important as more survivors deal with the complications of cancer treatment.
Damage to the genitourinary tract typically comes from the treatment of cancers of the pelvis and the retroperitoneum (back side of the abdomen) – namely colorectal, gynecologic, and urologic cancers. Complications can include male stress incontinence (urine leakage), rectourethral fistulas, urethral strictures, bladder neck contractures, genital mutilation and emasculation, ureteral strictures, urinary diversion, and sexual dysfunction - all potentially devastating and life altering to the cancer survivor.
At the Center for Reconstructive Urology, our primary goal is to help our patients make choices that maximize quality of life before, during, and after cancer treatment.