Kidney Cancer Services
Aurora Cancer Care is a pioneer and leader in the area of kidney cancer research to find new treatments and improve your quality life. Our kidney cancer services maintain a strong collaboration with the National Cancer Institute, National Kidney Cancer Association and other renowned cancer organizations. By collaborating with these organizations and participating in national clinical trials, you can feel confident that you will receive the latest technologies, treatments and medications available right here to fight your cancer. Continued research has the promise to further our understanding of this disease and help us save lives.
Developing Kidney Cancer
Kidney cancer represents about 3.8 percent of all cancers in the United States. Each year, more than 63,900 Americans face this diagnosis. Your risk of developing kidney cancer increases with age. It’s more common in men than in women, and men in their 50s to 70s who are or were smokers are more likely to develop kidney cancer. However, the condition rarely shows symptoms in its earliest stages. Over time, a tumor may develop in one of your kidneys displaying one or more symptoms:
- Blood in your urine (most common symptom)
- Back pain, just below your ribs
- A lump in your abdomen
- General symptoms such as ongoing fatigue, unexplained weight loss, recurrent fevers, high blood pressure, swelling in your ankles
Being aware of these signs of kidney cancer can help you catch the condition as soon as possible so you may begin treatment right away.
Types of Kidney Cancer
Kidney cancer is the abnormal growth of cells in kidney tissue. In time, these cells form a mass called a tumor that develops into these types of kidney cancers:
Renal cell carcinoma (RCC): This is the most common form of adult kidney cancer, approximately 85 percent. Renal cell carcinoma usually develops as a single tumor in one kidney but it can affect both your kidneys and spread (metastasize) to other organs. It begins in the cells that line the small tubes that are part of the nephrons within your kidneys.
Transitional cell carcinoma: This form of kidney cancer represents 6 to 7 percent of all kidney cancers, usually beginning in the area where your ureter connects to the main part of your kidney. This area is called the renal pelvis. Transitional cell carcinoma also may develop in your ureters or bladder.
Renal sarcoma: The least common form of kidney cancer, accounting for only 1 percent of those with kidney cancer, renal sarcoma begins in the connective tissues of your kidney. If left untreated, it can spread to nearby organs and bones.
Wilms’ tumor: The most common type of kidney cancer in children, it accounts for approximately 5 percent of total patients with kidney cancer.
Your chance of recovery depends on the type and stage of your cancer, whether your cancer has spread to other places in your body, as well as your general health. And like most cancer, early treatment is key before the cancer cells spread to other parts of your body.
Options for Treating Kidney Cancer
Aurora physicians offer several treatment options (link to treatment page) for kidney cancer depending on your particular condition, including:
- Surgery (open or robotic) to remove your kidney or only the part of your kidney where the tumor is (primary treatment)
- Clinical Trials
- Radiation therapy for palliation of pain
- Targeted therapy
- Biological or immunotherapy