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Ureter Cancer Information

  • Published: 2009-04-05 (Revised/Updated 2009-07-20) : Sally Rider.
  • Synopsis: Ureter Cancer forms in transitional cells in the lining of the bladder ureter or renal pelvis.

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Ureter Cancer forms in transitional cells in the lining of the bladder, ureter, or renal pelvis. Risk factors can include prolonged misuse of certain pain medications, smoking cigarettes, exposure to certain dyes and chemicals used in making leather goods, textiles, plastics and/or rubber.

Ureter Cancer forms in transitional cells in the lining of the bladder, ureter, or renal pelvis.

Alternate Names: Metastatic Transitional Cell Carcinoma of the Ureter (Stage IV), Squamous Cell Cancer of the Ureter, Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Ureter, Adenocarcinoma of the Ureter, Ureter Carcinoma

Transitional cells are cells that can change shape and stretch without breaking apart. Misuse of certain pain medications can affect the risk of developing transitional cell cancer of the renal pelvis or ureter.

Risk factors can include prolonged misuse of certain pain medications, smoking cigarettes, exposure to certain dyes and chemicals used in making leather goods, textiles, plastics and/or rubber.

Symptoms may include blood in the urine, persistent back pain, extreme fatigue, unintentional weight loss, and/or painful or frequent urination.

The following tests may be used to diagnose the disease: physical exam and history, urinalysis, ureteroscopy, urine cytology, intravenous pyelogram (IVP), CT scan, and/or ultrasound.

If the cancer is inoperable or unresectable, treatment with radiation and/or chemotherapy may be utilized for palliation, but the prognosis is poor.

Ureter cancer usually affects men more often than women and is more common in people older than 65. The 5-year survival rate is 5% or less.

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