The kidneys are two small fist-sized organs located behind the abdomen on each side of the spine above your waist. By producing urine, kidneys remove toxic by-products and excess fluids from the body to help maintain a critical balance of salt, potassium and acid. The most common kidney cancer is called renal cell carcinoma, which forms in the small tubes inside the kidney that filter blood.
Kidney Cancer: What You Need to Know
Some kidney cancer risk factors cannot be controlled such as age and gender, but others such as smoking, obesity and high blood pressure can. The University of Vermont Medical Center offers a smoking cessation program to quit smoking.
Our team uses the latest technology and robotic surgery or minimally invasive procedures to treat kidney cancer, which reduces your recovery time and risk of complications.
What is Kidney Cancer?
Each year, 54,000 Americans are diagnosed with kidney cancer.
Several factors can increase your risk of developing kidney cancer, including:
- Age - the risk increases as you age and kidney cancer is usually diagnosed between the ages of 50 and 70 years.
- Gender - kidney cancer is slightly more common in men
- High blood pressure
- Workplace chemicals such as asbestos and cadmium
- Long-term dialysis to treat chronic kidney failure
- Von Hippel-Lindau disease
- Hereditary papillary renal cell carcinoma
Kidney Cancer Symptoms
Kidney cancer doesn't usually have symptoms in its early stages. Symptoms in later kidney cancer stages may include:
- Blood in the urine
- Lower back pain (just below the ribs) that doesn't go away
- Weight loss
- Intermittent fever
Kidney Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment
It is important to realize that with early diagnosis and treatment, kidney cancer can be cured. If found early, the survival rate for patients with kidney cancer ranges from 79 to 100 percent.
The treatment that is right for you will depend upon several factors, including:
- Your general health
- Specific kidney cancer type
- Whether or not the cancer has spread
- Your treatment preferences
The UVM Medical Center's physicians are highly trained in performing robotic surgery for kidney cancer. Our knowledgeable surgeons use advanced technology to treat kidney cancer on a regular basis.
Find out if you are a potential candidate for a robotic-assisted surgery.
Learn more about kidney cancer treatments.