Kidney Cancer

Kidney cancer (also known as renal cell carcinoma) is cancer that begins in the kidneys. Your kidneys are two bean-shaped organs, each about the size of your fist. Our kidneys’ main job is to filter our blood. Sometimes we develop growths or tumors inside our kidneys. Some of these growths are cancerous but many are not. Due to advances in imaging technology, kidney cancer is often discovered at an early stage, when the cancer is small and confined to the kidney. Cancer Care of North Florida will take careful steps stage and grade the tumor to assess the best way to create and manage your treatment plan. Our goal is to achieve the very best outcome while preserving your quality of life.

Types of kidney cancers include:

  • Renal cell carcinomas (most common)
  • Clear cell carcinomas
  • Non-clear cell carcinomas
  • Transitional-cell carcinomas
  • Wilms tumors
  • Renal sarcomas

Symptoms of Kidney Cancer Include:

  • Blood in urine
  • Flank pain between the ribs and hips
  • Low back pain on one side (not caused by injury) that does not go away
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss without trying
  • Fever that is not caused by an infection and does not go away
  • Tiredness
  • Low red blood cell count
Kidney Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment

It is very important to do a comprehensive kidney cancer work-up to carefully evaluate the extent of bladder cancer.

  • Physical exam and history
  • Basic or complete metabolic panel (BMP or CMP) to check organ function
  • Complete blood count (CBC) to check the blood for signs of disease
  • Urinalysis to check for infection, blood, and protein in urine
  • Serum creatinine levels or other kidney function tests to check if the kidneys are getting rid of waste
  • Ultrasound to get images of your kidneys
  • CT Scan and/or MRI to help diagnose and stage kidney tumors
  • Bone scan and chest x-ray to find out if the cancer has spread
  • Kidney biopsy to help find out what type of tumor you have

The main goals in treating kidney tumors are to cure you of the cancer and to protect kidney function where possible. Protecting kidney function is especially important for patients with only one kidney or some other kidney disease. For some patients, surgery will never be needed. For others, surgery may be the best choice. At Cancer Care of North Florida, we use the most advanced therapies available to treat kidney cancer. An individualized plan of care may include multiple types of treatments.

Surgical options include:

  • Ablation
  • Partial nephrectomy
  • Radical nephrectomy
  • Radiation therapy

Other forms of non-surgical interventions for kidney cancer include:

Radiation – Any remaining cancer cells left after surgery are destroyed with high-energy radiation beams. For some kidney cancer, treating with chemotherapy at the same time can make radiation therapy work better. It is possible to receive radiation therapy before, during or after surgical intervention. Also, when surgery is not possible, radiation can be used to help slow the growth of the tumor. We work closely with Cancer Care of North Florida Radiation Oncology located on campus.
Chemotherapy – Chemotherapy (chemo) are anti-cancer drugs that may be given intravenously (injected into your vein) or by mouth. The drugs travel through the bloodstream to reach cancer cells in most parts of the body. Chemotherapy can sometimes be given before, during or after surgery. At Cancer Care of North Florida, our team provide extensive education and supportive care through your therapy.
Targeted Treatments – Targeted drugs work differently from chemo drugs. They sometimes work when chemo drugs don’t, and they often have different side effects. They can be used either along with chemotherapy or by themselves if chemotherapy is no longer working. Targeted treatment options are determined by further genetic testing of the tumor cells. This type of testing is usually done on the biopsied tissue of the tumor cells.
Immunotherapy – Immunotherapy is the use of medicines to help a person’s own immune system better recognize and destroy cancer cells. Immunotherapy can be used to treat some people with advanced kidney cancer.

Why Choose Us?

If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with kidney cancer, it is crucial to work with a team of cancer experts who not only have extensive experience, but also a strong track record for achieving the best possible outcome for their patients. While this type of cancer is treatable, the dedicated team Cancer Care of North Florida will initially stage and treat this form of cancer and monitor and treat cancer recurrence or complications that may occur later.

At Cancer Care of North Florida, our physicians are highly specialized in treating multiple types of cancer with the most advanced techniques. Using a team approach, we strive for excellence. We work with each patient to specifically tailor their treatment to their own clinical situation. One of the common diseases that we treat is kidney cancer.

  • Highly trained, collaborative oncology specialists all currently taking new patients
  • Consultation appointments scheduled within 3-5 days of referral and in some cases same-day appointments available
  • One-stop campus for comprehensive diagnositics and treatment for many types of cancer including radiation, chemotherapy infusion, lab draws and imaging services
  • Onsite infusion center offers comfortable, home-like setting
  • In-office lab testing
  • In-office medication dispensary
  • Open, immediate access to outpatient symptom management
  • 24-hour physician coverage
  • COPI-certified clinical trials
  • We accept most insurance plans including Medicare, Medicaid, and VA