What Is a Urologic Oncologist?

Medically Reviewed by Dan Brennan, MD on May 16, 2023
2 min read

Every year, more than 300,000 Americans are diagnosed with prostate, bladder, kidney, or other urologic cancers. Many of them have a urologic oncologist on their cancer treatment teams. Urologic oncologists are doctors who specialize in cancers of the male and female urinary systems and the male reproductive organs.

These doctors are different from general urologists, who deal with all diseases of the male and female urinary tracts. And they’re not quite like oncologists, who treat all forms of cancer. Urologic oncologists get specialized training (called a fellowship) that requires 2 years of specialized education. That includes 1 year of clinical work and 1 year of urologic oncology research.

This training is on top of 4 years of medical school and a 5-year urology residency. It gives urologic oncologists the expertise to develop treatment plans to fight cancer using traditional tools like chemotherapy, radiation, and immunotherapy. Urologic oncologists are also trained in the latest surgical techniques, including laparoscopic and robotic surgeries.

The extra training improves patient outcomes. Research shows that people whose cancer care teams included a surgical oncologist and a urological oncologist had shorter hospital stays. They also spent less time in the intensive care unit and had higher 90-day survival rates than those who had care from a single surgeon.

These highly trained medical professionals treat people through all stages of their urologic cancer journey, from diagnosis to end-stage disease. They work to improve diagnosis and develop new and better treatments. They also try to improve the quality of life and survival rates for people diagnosed with cancers of the urinary system.

You’ll find urologic oncologists working in hospitals and cancer care centers. They work with other members of cancer treatment teams, including radiation oncologists, pathologists, and diagnostic imaging specialists. They help provide complete cancer care and support to patients and their families through all aspects of diagnosis, treatment, and recovery.