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:
- 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.