Kidney Cancer

Kidney cancer

With the development of CT scanners, Kidney cancer can now be detected early.

With advanced treatments and improved surgical techniques, kidney cancers can often be removed while leaving the majority of the kidney intact. Some cancers are larger and require the entire kidney to be removed.

Most kidney cancers are detected early, and the survival rate reaches 79-100%.

Hundreds of thousands of kidney cancer survivors are in the US.

What are risks for kidney cancer?

  • Smoking
  • Family history of kidney cancer
  • High blood pressure
  • Obesity
  • Chronic kidney failure/dialysis

What symptoms should I look for?

Typically, kidney cancer does not have any symptoms. Rarely patients will see blood in their urine or on a urine test. Most kidney cancers are found “incidentally” or when patients are being screened for something else with a CT or other image of the abdomen.

Are there different stages to kidney cancer?

Yes, kidney cancers can be:

Stage 1: Smaller tumors less than 7 cm, with no  spread outside the kidney 

Stage 2: Tumors larger than 7 cm with no spread outside the kidney

Stage 3: Tumors that involve some of the veins or lymph nodes near the kidney 

Stage 4: Tumors that are spreading to other areas outside the kidney and other lymph nodes

What happens after my surgery?

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network has well established guidelines on how to follow patients after kidney surgery. Generally this means imaging and lab work several times a year for several years. The goal is to make sure no cancer remains, and no cancer shows back up later on.