to any malignant tumor that develops from the layer of cells that
urethral or glands which branch
off the internal wall of the urethra. This
is a rare medical condition, accounting for less
than 1% of all cancers. The most common form is the urothelial carcinoma (or transitional cell carcinoma), representing about 90% of all urethral cancer cases.
Anatomy of the Urethra
The urethra is a tubularconduit that carries urine from the bladder to the outside.
In men, it also carries the
sperm from the seminal vesicles. It is short in women, measuring approximately 1½ inches in length,
opening is at the level of the vulva, specifically between the clitoris and the vaginal
while in men its length is 8½ inches on
specifically, the urethra is a duct leading from the bladder neck to the urethral
orifice (urinary meatus), the
orifice that permits the flow of urine (and sperm in men).
In men the
urethra is divided into anterior and
posterior. The anterior urethra is made of the penile and bulbar urethra, extending to the urogenital
diaphragm, a superficial muscular layer that spans the outlet of the pelvis; and the
posterior urethra, which is made of the membranous and prostatic urethra. It is in
prostatic urethra that comes to open the ejaculatory ducts and the
prostatic ducts that allow the flow
As it is the case of most
malignant tumors, urethra cancer causes are not well known; some factors are suspected, however. The good
news some of those factors can be prevented. Common
risk factors for urethral
cancer include the following:
Having a history of bladder cancer puts an
individual at more risk of having the disease.
Infection/Inflammation of the Urethra
– People who suffer from chronic infection or
inflammation in the urethra are at higher risk for this cancer. Certain conditions that can lead to urethral
infection, especially HPV type 16
Frequent or untreated urinary tract
urethral cancer is extremely rare in young people.
The occurrence of the disease in both sex increases with age: the risks increase from
0.65% before age 45 to about 3%
after 75 years in men, and
0.42% before age 45 to 9.5%
after 75 years in women.
Average age at diagnosis is 60
is more common
in women, about 4 women for 1 man. Tumors of the male urethra are
very rare, representing less than 1% urinary
tract cancers, and mainly affect
elderly men aged 60 years or older.
Race - African
Americans are more affected by
the white population. The disease
is mainly diagnosed in black
Urethral Cancer Symptoms