Kidney cancer is cancer that originates in the kidneys, two bean-shaped organs, each about the size of your fist. Each year about 190,000 people will be diagnosed with kidney cancer worldwide. Kidney cancer is slightly more common in men and is usually diagnosed between the ages of 40-80 years of age. Many kidney cancers are detected during procedures for other diseases or conditions. Imaging techniques such as computerized tomography (CT) are being used more often, which may lead to the discovery of more kidney cancers earlier. It is important to realize that with early diagnosis and treatment, kidney cancer can be cured.
Risk factors for renal cell carcinoma include smoking, long term dialysis, family history, Von Hippel – Lindau disease, age and African American race, and high blood pressure. Symptoms are usually none and tumors are most often found incidentally with CT imaging. Symptoms may include blood in urine, flank or side pain, a mass or lump felt in the side of the abdomen, and even an array of non-specific abnormalities including weight loss, appetite changes and lab abnormities of the blood.
Treatment is usually surgical and we at Urology Centers of Alabama offer all the cutting-edge treatments including, robotic surgery for removal or partial removal of the kidneys and the tumor, laparoscopic cryoablation of small kidney masses, and other open or laparoscopic techniques.