Urethral cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the urethra.
The urethra is the tube that carries urine from the bladder to outside the body. In women, the urethra is about 1½ inches long and is just above the vagina. In men, the urethra is about 8 inches long, and goes through the prostate gland and the penis to the outside of the body. In men, the urethra also carries semen.
Urethral cancer is a rare cancer that occurs more often in women than in men. There are different types of urethral cancer that begin in cells that line the urethra. These cancers are named for the types of cells that become malignant (cancerous):
Urethral cancer can metastasize (spread) quickly to tissues around the urethra and is often found in nearby lymph nodes by the time it is diagnosed.
Age and a history of bladder cancer can affect the risk of developing urethral cancer.
Risk factors include the following:
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/9/2014
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