Kidney cancer is cancer that originates in the distal tubules of the kidney. The most common type of kidney cancer is renal cell carcinoma. Smoking, obesity, and exposure to chemicals in the workplace such as cadmium and asbestos have all been linked to kidney cancer.
Early kidney cancer has no symptoms. Late symptoms of kidney cancer may present with Blood in the urine, pain, and or a mass in the flank area. Weight loss and fever are also Non-specific symptoms that can occur during the later stages of kidney cancer.
The first line of treatment for kidney cancer is usually surgery to either remove the entire kidney and surrounding tissue (radical nephrectomy) or just the tumor and a margin (nephron-sparing surgery). If the patient cannot tolerate surgery, the cancerous cells may be frozen (cryoablation) or superheated (radiofrequency ablation).
For recurrent kidney cancers or those that have spread, immunotherapy (biological therapy), targeted therapy, or radiation may be used.
Renal Cancer Renal cell carcinoma is the most common type of kidney cancer in adults. This type of cancer originates in the kidneys and is often discovered during imaging procedures for other conditions and usually does not cause symptoms in its early stages.
Late symptoms of kidney cancer can include blood in the urine, pain, flank mass, and at times fatigue, weight loss, or fever.
Surgery for Kidney Cancer Surgery is the first line treatment for kidney cancer. The entire diseased organ may be removed with a margin of tissue, some lymph nodes, and possibly the adrenal gland (radical nephrectomy).
An alternative surgery is called a partial nephrectomy or nephron- or kidney-sparing surgery. Only the tumor and a margin of tissue are removed, and the kidney is reconstructed to preserve its function. Da Vinci Robotic Partial Nephrectomy Robotic nephron-sparing surgery is becoming more and more the mainstay of this type of treatment. The da Vinci robotic surgical platform includes cutting-edge technology that allows the surgeon to control miniature robotic instruments using a 3D, high-definition visualization console.
Because the instruments can exactly mimic the surgeon’s hand motions in miniature, the robot hands never tremor, and the 3D magnified view is superior to that of the naked eye, da Vinci robotic surgery offers more precision and control than open partial nephrectomy or traditional laparoscopic nephrectomy.
It is important to preserve the function of the kidney whenever possible since patients with two working kidneys are at much less risk of developing chronic kidney disease or needing dialysis later in life.
Other Treatments for Kidney Cancer If surgery is not an option, cancer cells can be destroyed by freezing (cryoablation) or heat (radiofrequency ablation). Recurrent kidney cancer or kidney cancer that has spread may be treated with radiation and/or immunotherapy or drugs (targeted therapies).