Kidney Cancer (Renal Cell Carcinoma)

Your kidneys are two bean shaped organs in the back of your abdominal cavity on either side of your spine.  Like many other organs in your body, the kidneys can develop cancer.  In adults, the most common kidney cancer is Renal Cell Carcinoma.  The second most common kidney cancer is Transitional Cell Carcinoma.   The American Cancer Society estimates that >50,000 Americans will be diagnosed with kidney cancer each year.

Renal Cell Carcinoma

Renal Cell Carcinoma has few or no symptoms in its early stages.renal_cell_carcinoma  In later stages, it can cause upper back pain, blood in the urine, weight loss and fatigue.  Typically, kidney cancer is diagnosed “by accident”.  Most cancers are detected on radiologic studies that are ordered for completely unrelated issues.  Luckily, when these cancers are found in their early stages, cure rates with treatment are >80-90%.




The mainstay for the treatment of renal cell carcinoma involves surgical removal of the tumors (nephrectomy).  Consultants in Urology offers the latest surgical treatment options including:

Laparoscopic Radical Nephrectomy : complete removal of the entire kidney through small telescopic incisions in your abdomen.hand_assisted_laparoscopic_nephrectomy

Open Radical Nephrectomy: complete removal of the entire kidney through an incision, either through the abdomen or flank.

Laproscopic  or Open Partial Nephrectomy: for small tumors, the cancerous portion is removed and the normal kidney is reconstructed




Recently, there have been advances in developing less invasive treatment options for renal cell carcinoma.  While surgical removal is still considered the gold standard of treatment, we do offer them for the properly selected patient

Cryotherapy or Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA):   In a laparoscopic procedure, the tumor on  the kidney is exposed and small probes are inserted into the tumor, these probes freeze or burn the tumor to destroy the tumor cells.radiofrequency_ablation  Typically patients can leave the hospital the following day.

Tumor Embolization: Indicated for those patients who cannot tolerate surgery and are having active symptoms.  Through a small catheter in the groin the blood and oxygen supply to the tumor is cut off, thereby shrinking the tumor and reducing symptoms such as blood in the urine and back pain.

Kidney Cysts (Renal Cysts)

Your kidneys are two bean shaped organs in the back of your abdominal cavity on either side of your spine.  Kidney cysts are extremely common and can be found in up to 80% of the population.  Many patients are found to have kidney cysts after undergoing imaging for another condition.

Kidney or renal cysts are classified into simple and complex.  The majority of patients have simple renal cysts.  A smaller proportion of patients have complex renal cysts that may require further testing to differentiate the cyst from a kidney cancer.

Kidney cysts are typically diagnosed by ultrasound, computerized tomography (CT Scan) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).  For the most part it is very easy to distinguish a simple renal cyst from a complex one on these tests.  Occasionally, it is necessary to order a second radiologic test to definitely determine the cyst’s characteristics.

In general simple renal cysts are asymptomatic and require absolutely no further testing. simple_rena_yst They do not progress into cancers.







For those patients with complex renal cysts Consultants in Urology can provide accurate testing and complex_renal_cysttreatment options.   These cysts do need further evaluation to ensure they are not cancerous.