Kidney Cancer

Kidney cancer, also called renal cancer, begins in the kidneys, which are bean-shaped organs charged with filtering the blood and ridding the body of wastes and excess salt. About 90 percent of kidney cancers are renal carcinomas that originate in the lining of the kidney’s tubes, called ureters. Other types include:

  • Transitional cell carcinoma – this usually begins as bladder cancer and travels to the kidneys
  • Wilms tumor – these tumors are almost always childhood cancers
  • Renal sarcoma – a rare cancer that begins in the blood vessels of the kidneys

Kidney Cancer Risk Factors

The American Cancer Society estimates that approximately 65,150 new cases of kidney cancer are diagnosed in the United States annually. The lifetime risk of getting kidney cancer is about 1 in 63.

Risk factors include:

  • Being a man
  • Being over the age of 45
  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • Occupational exposure to certain chemicals
  • Having high blood pressure
  • Having a family history of kidney cancer

Signs & Symptoms of Kidney Cancer

See your doctor if you experience any of the following:

  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Persistent fatigue
  • Chronic back pain below the ribs
  • Blood in your urine

Kidney Cancer Diagnosis & Treatment

The best way to prevent kidney cancer is to maintain a healthy body weight, normal blood pressure and quit smoking. Sometimes it can be difficult to diagnose kidney cancer early because a tumor may become quite large before it can be seen or felt. There are no recommended screenings for people who have not exhibited symptoms of kidney cancer, but the following diagnostic tests may be necessary if you have any of the above symptoms:

  • CT-guided radiofrequency ablation
  • Liver function tests
  • Renal ultrasound
  • Ureteroscopy

Treatment for kidney cancer may involve a combination of surgery, radiation therapy or chemotherapy.

Kidney Cancer Education, Screenings & Treatment at BayCare

BayCare is proud to offer a variety of cancer services throughout Tampa, Clearwater, St. Petersburg and all of Tampa Bay. Call (855) 314-8346 for a physician referral or find a doctor near you.