About Kidney Cancer

Kidney Cancer most commonly affects adults over the age of 60, although it can also afflict people younger than that. Blood in the urine is the most common first sign.

There is a strong possibility of a cure if kidney cancer is detected at an early stage. The more advanced the cancer is (the more it has grown and spread), the less likely it is to be cured. Treatment, on the other hand, can frequently delay the cancer’s progression.

Kidney cancer comes in a variety of forms. Renal cell carcinoma is the most frequent form in adults Renal Cell Carcinomas (RCCs).

The majority of RCCs are discovered by chance during imaging examinations like as ultrasonography, CAT scan, or MRI, which are conducted for unrelated medical issues. Wilms’ tumour is the most prevalent kind of kidney cancer in children. Early discovery, like with many other forms of cancer, greatly enhances your chances of survival.

If you or someone you care about has been diagnosed with kidney cancer, turn to the Jefferson Multidisciplinary Genitourinary Oncology Center’s expert staff for help.

Our urologists, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, and radiologists are world-renowned professionals in their respective specialties. Because of the Center’s innovative methodology, you may take advantage of various areas of knowledge in just one visit.

You may be a candidate for a minimally invasive surgical treatment termed laparoscopic or robotic nephrectomy, depending on your diagnosis and the size and location of the tumour.

Since the early 1990s, our urologic surgeons have been conducting this minimally invasive treatment. Minimally invasive surgery can help you recover quicker by reducing your hospital stay, reducing the risk of infection, and reducing discomfort.

The Department of Urology’s researchers are working on a variety of kidney cancer investigations, including renal cell carcinoma and transitional cell carcinoma.

We’re looking at new biologic and immunologic treatments for kidney cancer, as well as gene therapy, new surgical methods, and anti-cancer medicines like interleukin-2 and alpha-interferon.

Kidney cancer research includes the following areas:

  • In lieu of open surgery, laparoscopic nephron-sparing surgery (NSS) with hilar clamping is used.
  • Identifying new biomarkers that might predict aggressive behaviour in clear cell renal cell carcinoma using gene expression profiling (CCRCC)
  • Immunotherapy for renal cell carcinoma (RCC), which frequently worsens after treatment or develops in a metastatic form.
  • Research on B7-H1, a B7 family costimulatory glycoprotein, for application in prognostic data or immune targeting.

What are Kidneys, and What do they do?

The kidneys are bean-shaped organs that are positioned towards the centre of your back, below the ribcage. The majority of people have two kidneys, one on each side of the spine, each roughly the size of a fist.

What is Kidney Cancer and How Does It Affect You?

Kidney Cancer is a disease that starts in the kidneys and spreads throughout the body. When healthy cells in one or both kidneys grow out of control and form a lump, this condition arises (called a tumor). The most prevalent kind of kidney cancer in adults is renal cell carcinoma.

Kidney cancer is a cancer that starts in the kidneys. Each kidney is roughly the size of an adult fist, is bean-shaped, and weighs around 150 grammes. Each side of the backbone, right behind the rib cage, has one kidney. A substantial cushion of fat, the lower ribs, and numerous muscles protect them from harm.

The kidneys play a critical role in overall health and well-being. Their goal is to filter non-recyclable trash from recyclable waste in the body while also cleansing the blood. Urine is made by the kidneys from excess fluid, undesirable substances, and waste in the blood.

The abnormal development of cells in the kidneys causes kidney cancer. Renal Cell Carcinomas (RCCs) account for around 90% of all kidney cancer cases. Aside from kidney cancer, there are a variety of other malignancies that can affect the kidneys:

  • Transitional cell carcinoma, also known as kidney pelvis cancer, is a kind of cancer that starts in the lining of the kidney pelvis.
  • The most frequent malignancy in children aged 14 and under is Wilms tumour (nephroblastoma).
  • Renal sarcoma is a rare cancer that originates in the kidney’s soft tissue.

Kidney cancer is the tenth most prevalent disease in the United States, accounting for around 3.7 percent of new cancer cases in 2016.

The kidneys and renal pelvis (together) are one of the top ten cancer sites in males, and it is the seventh most frequent malignancy.

Kidney Cancer Diagnosis

Some people find out they have kidney cancer after visiting a doctor about health issues such as:

  • Urine with blood
  • Pressure or discomfort in the side or back
  • An increase in edoema in the ankles and legs
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • A low amount of red blood cells (anemia)
  • A high concentration of red blood cells (erythrocytosis)
  • Feeling exhausted
  • A decrease in appetite
  • Weight loss that isn’t explained
  • Fever that comes back
  • A fast expansion of the veins around a testicle

A physical exam will precede a diagnosis, which may be followed by one or more of the following tests:

1. Tests on the Urine

The lab looks for blood and other indicators of illness in your urine.

2. Tests on the Blood

The lab looks for many chemicals in your blood, including creatinine. A high creatinine level might indicate that the kidneys aren’t doing their job.

3. Ultrasound

Ultrasound is a medical instrument that employs sound waves that are not audible to humans. As sound waves bounce off organs inside your abdomen, they create a pattern of echoes. The echoes form an image of your kidney and the tissues around it. A kidney tumour might be visible in the image.

4. CT Scan

A computer-controlled x-ray equipment takes a series of detailed images of your abdomen. You may be given a contrast injection to help the images of your urinary system and lymph nodes stand out. A CT scan of the abdomen might reveal cancer in the kidneys, lymph nodes, or elsewhere.

5. MRI

To take comprehensive images of your urinary system and lymph nodes, a big equipment with a powerful magnet attached to a computer is utilised.

It’s possible that you’ll be given a contrast injection. An MRI can reveal malignancy in your kidneys, lymph nodes, or other abdominal tissues.

6. Biopsy

A biopsy of your kidney tumour may be recommended by your doctor, depending on your circumstances.

A tiny needle is inserted through your skin into your kidney by the doctor to retrieve a small sample of tissue. To guide the needle, your doctor may utilise ultrasonography or a CT scan. A pathologist examines the tissue under a microscope for cancer cells.

7. Surgery

A pathologist can make the final diagnosis by looking for cancer cells in the tissue after surgery to remove part or all of a kidney tumour.



Kidney Cancer is best treated by surgery, either a radical nephrectomy (removal of the entire kidney) or a partial nephrectomy (removal of the tumour but not the remainder of the kidney). When the tumour size and location, as well as the patient’s medical history, allow for it, surgery is conducted laparoscopically.

Kidney cancer almost often need surgery. Our surgeons are skilled in a variety of minimally invasive procedures for removing the entire organ or only a portion of it.

Even in severe circumstances, including advanced kidney cancer, we execute kidney sparing operations (partial nephrectomy). Multidisciplinary teams of cardiothoracic surgeons, orthopaedic surgeons, and liver transplant surgeons may be required for these complicated surgeries.

Laparoscopic and robot-assisted laparoscopic kidney removal are performed whenever possible. Instead of a single big incision, these modern techniques use numerous tiny incisions. This sort of surgery usually means a shorter stay in the hospital and a quicker recovery.

Some kidney tumours can be treated using cryotherapy, or freezing, which doesn’t need any kidney removal.

For kidney cancer, we also provide sophisticated interventional radiology therapies. A catheter, a tiny flexible tube placed into an artery, commonly in the thigh, is used in IR.

We can use IR to perform minimally invasive procedures like microwave ablation tissue removal. Interventional radiologists direct the catheter to the afflicted part of the body using sophisticated imaging techniques such as X-, CT-MRI, and ultrasound.

Radiation Therapy

Radiation is usually reserved for the treatment of kidney cancer that has progressed to the bones.

Systemic Therapy

Patients with metastatic kidney cancer may benefit from systemic therapy, which involves treating cancer cells throughout the body. Several novel medicines for individuals with metastatic kidney cancer are now being tested.

Self-Care is Important.

The majority of people with kidney cancer had no symptoms, and the disease was discovered by chance during a routine checkup for another issue. Patients with kidney cancer may require pain or bleeding treatment on occasion.

Kidney Cancer surgery might need big incisions and a 6-8 week recuperation period. The recuperation time following laparoscopic kidney cancer surgery is significantly reduced.

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