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The genitourinary system is comprised of the organs and structures involved in reproduction and the formation and excretion of urine. This system performs important functions related to the elimination of the body’s waste products and maintenance of homeostatic environment as well as functions related to reproduction.1 The kidneys are also involved in regulating production of red blood cells, metabolizing hormones, and maintaining the acid–base balance of the blood.2 Furthermore, part of normal kidney function requires unrestricted flow of urine out of the body. Figure 7–1 shows the female and male urinary systems. Table 7–1 shows the common signs and symptoms of urological dysfunction. Table 7–2 summarizes the conditions discussed in this chapter.


Female (A) and male (B) urinary system. (From McAninch JW, Lue TF. Smith & Tanagho’s General Urology, 18th ed. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, 2013. Figures 1–1 and 1–2.)

TABLE 7–1Common signs and symptoms of urological dysfunction.
TABLE 7–2Selected genitourinary conditions.

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High-Yield Terms to Learn
Pyelonephritis Infection affecting the kidneys.
Hematuria Blood in the urine.
Nocturia Increased or unusual need to urinate at night time.
Cystitis Infection of the bladder.
Adjuvant therapy Treatment that is given in addition to the main treatment. In cancer, these are interventions done after surgery (usually chemotherapy and/or radiation) in attempt to remove all malignancy and/or prevent reoccurrence.
Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) Enlargement of the prostate gland in men.
Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test Blood test that detects PSA in the blood. PSA levels increase when the prostate is enlarged.
Transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) Surgical procedure where an instrument is inserted in the urethra and most of the prostate is removed (outer part is left).
Radical prostatectomy Removal of the entire prostate gland and some surrounding tissues, including the seminal vesicles.
Androgen Male hormone; increased levels of androgen may stimulate the growth of prostate cancer cells.
Urinary incontinence ...

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