Treating Kidney Cancer

Kidney Cancer

What is Kidney Cancer?

Kidney cancer originates in the kidneys – two bean-shaped organs whose main purpose is to clean toxins and other waste products from the blood. The most common type of kidney cancer in adults is renal cell carcinoma, but other less common types of kidney cancer can occur.

It is unclear what causes kidney cancer. Older age, being male, smoking, obesity, high blood pressure or being exposed to chemicals in the workplace are factors that may increase your risk of kidney cancer.

Symptoms of Kidney Cancer

Kidney cancer can be difficult to detect because it rarely causes symptoms until its later stages. Some common symptoms may include:

  • Pink, red or brown colored blood in the urine
  • Back pain below the ribs that doesn’t go away
  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Intermittent fever

It is important to see your doctor if any of these symptoms persist. In some cases, these symptoms may suggest a later of stage of kidney cancer, but they can also be signs of another health condition.

Diagnosing Kidney Cancer

If you have symptoms of kidney cancer or your doctor suspects you may have a form of it, he or she may recommend having tests to confirm a diagnosis. Some could include blood and urine tests, imaging tests, or the removal of a sample of kidney tissue for a biopsy. If it is determined that you have kidney cancer, your doctor will then determine the stage of the cancer. This may involve additional imaging tests.

Treating Kidney Cancer

When treating kidney cancer, there are several factors your doctor will consider, such as your general health, the kind of kidney cancer you have and whether it has spread.

Typically, surgery to remove the affected kidney or surgery to remove the tumor from the kidney is the initial treatment. If surgery is not an option due to your overall health or other risk factors, alternative treatments may include:

  • Embolization, which blocks the flow of oxygen and blood to the tumor
  • Cryoablation, which freezes the cancer cells
  • Radiofrequency ablation, which involves running an electric current through the cells
  • Chemotherapy if the cancer has spread

Your doctor will work with you to determine the treatment option that is best for you.

Academic Urology Locations

  • Brinton Lake

    Crozer Medical Plaza
    500 Evergreen Dr.,
    Glen Mills, PA 19342

  • Bryn Mawr

    919 Conestoga Rd
    Building 1, Suite 300
    Bryn Mawr, PA 19010

  • Center for Pelvic Medicine, LLC

    919 Conestoga Rd
    Building 1, Suite 301
    Bryn Mawr, PA 19010

  • Coatesville

    213 Reeceville Rd
    Coatesville, PA 19320

  • Glen Mills

    100 Maris Grove Way
    Glen Mills, PA 19342

  • King of Prussia

    211 S. Gulph Rd.
    King of Prussia, PA 19406

  • Media

    200 East State Street
    Suite 205
    Media, PA 19063

  • Paoli

    2 Industrial Boulevard
    Building C, Suite 120
    Paoli, PA 19301

  • Phoenixville

    824 Main Street
    Suite 301
    Phoenixville, PA 19460

  • Pottstown

    20 Sunnybrook Road
    Pottstown, PA 19464

  • The Prostate Center

    211 South Gulph Rd.
    Suite 200
    King of Prussia, PA 19406

  • West Chester

    915 Old Fern Hill Road
    Building B
    West Chester, PA 19380

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Over 400 people--patients and family members--joined physicians and staff from the Academic Urology Prostate Center and Fox Chase Cancer Center Medical Group on June 4th at the Valley Forge Casino & Resort in King of Prussia to mark the annual National Cancer Survivors’ Day.

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