About Kidney Cancer
Diagnosis & Treatment in St. Petersburg
Kidney cancer is also known as renal cancer. The cancerous cells tend to begin in the tiny tubes of the kidney, which is diagnosed as renal cell carcinoma, hence the name “renal cancer”. Luckily, in most cases, kidney cancer is found before it is able to spread.
Kidney cancer is actually the 6th most common cancer in men, but women can get kidney cancer, too. About only 4% of cancer cases are diagnosed to be kidney cancer, however, this tends to affect a specific demographic, so understanding risk factors is very important.
Risk factors of kidney cancer
It’s very unlikely that you’ll get kidney cancer if you don’t fall into a couple of these categories:
- Over the age of 50
- You have advanced kidney disease
- Family history of kidney cancer
- High blood pressure
- African American
Keep in mind, having these risk factors doesn’t mean that any of them cause kidney cancer on their own, they just increase the risk of it happening. However, if you can remove some of these risk factors, you can greatly reduce your chances of getting kidney cancer, such as losing weight, quitting smoking and reducing blood pressure. Those ones specifically also have a plethora of other health benefits.
Symptoms of renal cell carcinoma (kidney cancer)
Note that these symptoms don’t necessarily mean you have kidney cancer, but if you are experiencing any of these symptoms and also fit into a few of the risk factors above, consult with Dr. Diner about getting a screening. These symptoms are in order of how common they are, with the most common at the top:
- Blood in the urine
- Abdominal mass
- Back or flank pain
- Unexplained weightloss
- Low blood cell counts (anemia)
- Symptoms of metastases (secondary malignant growths away from the primary site of cancer)
- High calcium in blood
- High blood cell counts
Symptoms below the line are way less common (less than 10% of kidney cancer patients have these symptoms), but they are important to note. The first three symptoms are the most common.
Diagnosing kidney cancer
First, Dr. Diner will conduct a physical exam and discuss with you your medical history and current symptoms. If they think it warrants you getting an exam, they will most likely refer you to a radiologist to get a CT scan, PET scan, MRI or ultrasound. Other exams also include a biopsy, blood tests and a few others. Make sure you discuss your exam options with Dr. Diner.
CT and MRI exams are typically used to detect the staging of the cancer if it exists, where there are 4 staging groups of kidney cancer, with categories underneath.
Treatment for kidney cancer
Most likely, if you have kidney cancer, robotic surgery will be the procedure of choice. Specifically, the da Vinci Nephrectomy procedure. Each case differs, so you will need to consult with Dr. Diner about treatment options.
If you have more questions about kidney cancer, or believe you may be at risk, consult with Dr. Eric Diner by calling (727) 824-7146