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Kidney Cancer Specialist

Metro Renal Associates

Nephrologists located in Washington, DC & Capitol Heights, MD

Even though kidney cancer isn’t as common as other forms of cancer, its occurrence is on the rise, representing nearly 4% of all new cancer cases in the United States. The team of board-certified nephrologists at Metro Renal Associates in Washington, DC, uses cutting-edge technology to diagnose and treat kidney cancer. Call the office or schedule an appointment online today if you notice persistent symptoms, including blood in your urine or loss of appetite.

Kidney Cancer Q & A

What is kidney cancer?

Kidney cancer is a form of cancer that begins in your kidneys, which are two bean-shaped organs situated right behind your abdominal organs and roughly the size of your fists.  

For adults, renal cell carcinoma is the most common type of kidney cancer, which leads to cancerous tumors in the kidneys. Other less common types of kidney cancer also occur, including those that affect children.

What are the symptoms of kidney cancer?

In its early stages, kidney cancer generally doesn’t cause signs or symptoms. However, in later stages, if you have kidney cancer, your signs and symptoms may include:

  • Blood in your urine
  • Recurring pain in your back or side
  • Decreased appetite
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Intermittent fever
  • Mass in a kidney

Persistent signs or symptoms associated with advanced-stage kidney cancer merit immediate medical attention.

What causes kidney cancer?

The cause of kidney cancer isn’t completely understood, including for renal cell cancer, the most common form of kidney cancer. However, experts believe that kidney cancer is caused by kidney cell mutations that lead to tumors extending beyond the kidney.

Some of the contributing factors known to be associated with kidney cancer include:

  • Older age
  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • High blood pressure
  • Long-term dialysis to treat kidney failure
  • A family history of kidney cancer

Certain inherited syndromes such as von Hippel-Lindau disease, Birt-Hogg-Dube (BHD) syndrome, and tuberous sclerosis complex, as well as exposure to workplace factors like herbicides, can also be factors.

How is kidney cancer treated?

The first step in treating kidney cancer is getting an accurate diagnosis. The team at Metro Renal Associates may conclude that you have kidney cancer after examining blood or urine tests, imaging tests such as CT scans, or a biopsy, which involves removing a sample of kidney tissue.

Once a kidney cancer lesion is discovered, the next step is determining what stage the cancer is at. Stage 1 is the earliest stage, and they go up to stage 5, which is the final and most serious stage of cancer.

After determining the stage of your cancer, the team at Metro Renal Associates then discusses your kidney cancer treatment options, with the best approach often depending on factors such as your overall health, the type of kidney cancer you have, your personal preferences, and how far, if at all, the cancer has spread.

The most common type of treatment is surgery to either remove the affected kidney or the tumor. Generally, removing a tumor is preferred as removing the entire kidney poses a higher risk for future complications of kidney disease and the need for treatments like dialysis.

To learn more about the available kidney cancer treatment options, call Metro Renal Associates or schedule an appointment online today.