Not surprisingly, kidney cancer, often called renal cancer, begins in the kidneys. Kidneys are about the size of a fist and are curved like a bean that shares the name. Your kidneys can be found on either side of your spine, below your rib cage. The primary functions of the kidneys are to filter blood to produce urine and balance electrolytes such as sodium.
If the kidneys turn cancerous, tumors can grow uncontrollably, creating a large cancerous mass.
Although there are no routine tests during an annual exam that screen for kidney cancer, doctors often detect kidney cancer before symptoms emerge. During the later stages, kidney cancer signs and symptoms may include:
While research has not definitively established why someone would get kidney cancer, certain behaviors or genetic factors can heighten your risk of developing the disease. These risk factors include:
The doctors will conduct blood and urine tests, imaging tests and/or a renal biopsy. If cancer is identified, a CT scan can determine how far the disease has progressed.
Once you know your stage of kidney cancer, the DFW Urology Consultants team can help you devise your optimal treatment plan. In some cases, surgery is needed to remove a large kidney tumor, or to remove a whole kidney if the cancer is in a later stage. Radiation may be used in combination with surgery.
As an alternative to surgery, the doctors use a minimally invasive procedure called cryoablation, which kills cancerous kidney tumors by precisely targeting them with extremely cold temperatures.
If you are worried about your risk of kidney cancer, call the office or request an appointment online today.
Feel free to email us regarding any scheduling or general questions!