Urethral Cancer Staging

Pathology tests help to determine the cancer’s stage, which reflect the tumor’s size, location, whether and to where the cancer has spread.

Urethral cancer is staged and treated based on the part of the urethra that is affected and how deeply the tumor has spread into tissue around the urethra. Urethral cancer can be described as:

  • Anterior Urethral Cancer: Tumors are not deep and they affect the part of the urethra that is closest to the outside of the body.
  • Posterior Urethral Cancer:  Tumors are deep and affect the part of the urethra closest to the bladder. In women, the entire urethra may be affected. In men, the prostate gland may be affected.

Urethral cancer is classified according to the following stages:

  • Stage 0 (Carcinoma in Situ): Abnormal cells are found in the inside lining of the urethra.
  • Stage A: Cancer has spread into the layer of tissue beneath the lining of the urethra.
  • Stage B: Cancer is found in the muscle around the urethra. In men, the penile tissue surrounding the urethra may be affected.
  • Stage C: Cancer has spread beyond the tissue surrounding the urethra. In women, cancer may be found in the vagina, vaginal lips or nearby muscle; in men, it may be in the penis or in nearby muscle.
  • Stage D1: Cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes in the pelvis and groin.
  • Stage D2: Cancer has spread to distant lymph nodes or to organs such as the lungs, liver, and bone.