Kidney Cancer & Treatment

About the Kidney

The kidneys are two bean-shaped organs each approximately the size of a fist and are located on each side of the spine, just below the rib cage. Kidneys are responsible for a variety of functions including:

  • removal of waste products from the body
  • removal of drugs from the body
  • balancing bodily fluids
  • controlling the production of red blood cells
  • producing Vitamin D
  • releasing hormones that regulate blood pressure

About Kidney Cancer

Approximately 1 in 75 men and women will be diagnosed with kidney cancer in their lifetime.  Nearly 54,390 new cases will be diagnosed this year alone. Males are more likely than females to be diagnosed with kidney cancer. Unfortunately early kidney cancers do not usually cause any signs or symptoms. Some possible signs and symptoms include:

  • hematuria (blood in the urine)
  • low back pain
  • fatigue
  • unexplained weight loss
  • edema (swelling of the ankles and legs)
  • mass/lump on the side or lower back
  • fever (not caused by a cold or other infection)

The most common type of kidney cancer is renal cell carcinoma. It accounts for approximately 9 out of 10 kidney cancers. Renal cell carcinoma forms in the lining of very small tubes within your kidneys. Another type of  cancer affecting the kidneys is renal pelvis carcinoma which forms in the center of the kidney where urine collects. 

To learn more about Kidney Cancer click here.

Kidney Cancer Treatment

Conventional chemotherapy and radiation are often times not effective in the treatment of kidney cancer. Therefore, surgical removal of the tumor (also known as Nephrectomy) is often the standard treatment. Small tumors are often treated with a partial nephrectomy as are larger tumors when a sufficient amount of the unaffected kidney can be preserved.  Here at the CARES Center our urology surgeons are on the leading edge of a new surgical option knows as the robotic-assisted nephrectomy. With the use of the da Vinci® Surgical System, physicians are able to perform a more precise operation compared to a traditional open nephrectomy. It also offers considerable benefits to patients, compared to open surgery.
If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with kidney cancer, you may be a candidate for this new, minimally invasive procedure known as the da Vinci®  Nephrectomy.

Robotic Partial Nephrectomy - Are you a candidate?

To learn more about Robotic Partial Nephrectomy and whether it is the right treatment option for you, contact us or call us at (919) 966-9696.