If you have kidney cancer (also known as renal cancer), Valley urologic oncology specialists are here to help you choose the best options for your cancer.
There are different types of cancer that start in your kidneys. The most common type in adults is called renal cell carcinoma, which forms in the lining of the kidney tubules.
Renal cell carcinoma most often occurs in men between the ages of 50 and 70. It’s also more common in people who:
- Receive dialysis treatment
- Have a family history of kidney cancer
- Have a genetic predisposition, such as Von Hippel-Lindau disease
Kidney Cancer Symptoms
Symptoms of kidney cancer include:
- Abdominal or back pain
- Blood in the urine
- Unexplained weight loss
Kidney Cancer Diagnosis at Valley
If you are experiencing the above symptoms, your doctor may refer you to a urologist.
At your first visit, your doctor will ask about your medical history and symptoms, as well as perform a physical exam.
If cancer is suspected, your doctor may order additional testing, such as:
- Blood and urine lab tests: A sample of blood and urine will be tested for signs of cancer.
- Imaging tests: These tests allow your doctor to see what is going on inside your body. Examples of imaging tests include ultrasound, computed tomography (CT) scans or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans.
Kidney Cancer Treatment at Valley
Our Urologic Oncology team uses a collaborative approach to closely review your case and recommend a personalized treatment plan. During a single, two-hour visit, you will meet with our team of specialists to go over your treatment options and answer any questions.
Treatment for kidney cancer varies depending on a variety of factors, including the tumor's size, whether the cancer has spread, your age and your overall health. Sometimes more than one treatment type is used in combination.
Our kidney cancer specialists will help you decide on the treatment option that fits you best.
Kidney cancer treatment may include:
Surgery for Kidney Cancer
Surgery is often the primary treatment for kidney cancer.
- Partial nephrectomy: A surgical procedure which only removes the cancerous portion of your kidney but preserves the remaining functioning kidney tissue.
- Complete nephrectomy: A surgical procedure that removes the entire kidney with a large kidney tumor. Sometimes surrounding tissues, such as lymph nodes or adrenal glands are removed as well.
Valley offers minimally invasive surgical methods, such as robotic surgery, that allow your doctor greater precision and offers you the following benefits:
- Smaller incisions
- Minimal scarring
- Minimal pain
- Less blood loss
- Faster recovery
- Shorter hospital stays
Biological Therapy (Immunotherapy)
Biological therapy, also known as immunotherapy, uses medications that help boost your immune system to kill cancer cells. It is typically directly injected into the patient’s veins. This type of treatment has fewer side effects than traditional chemotherapy because they contain fewer toxic ingredients.
Targeted therapy uses medications that target cancer-causing changes to your cells. They are often taken in pill form, which means you can do your treatment at home. Your doctor may run tests to determine which medication will work best for you.
Radiation therapy is a non-invasive approach that may be used to treat kidney cancers in patients that are unable to undergo surgery.
This is usually performed using stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT). SBRT is targeted, high-dose radiation therapy that is delivered over a short period of time. Your doctors will discuss with you if SBRT would be a good option for you.
Why Choose Valley for Kidney Cancer?
- Team approach to kidney cancer treatment: You will meet with our entire multidisciplinary urologic oncology team to discuss your specific cancer––all in your first visit. This integrated approach gives you and your family access to a group of specialists who can answer your questions and go over your treatment options. Our collaborative approach provides our patients with expert care that’s personalized and comprehensive.
- Precise treatments: Valley offers the latest options for precision surgery and radiation therapy, close to home. Our minimally invasive surgeries mean patients have less pain and a faster recovery.
- Making the process easier for you: Valley’s urologic oncology nurse navigators will help you coordinate your visits. Our nurses will guide you through all the steps needed—and connect you with the right specialists—to treat your kidney cancer.