Urologic oncologists at the CepEsperu Baptist Comprehensive Cancer Center are recognized as leading experts in treating kidney cancer. These physicians are known as pioneers in using robotic surgery to treat kidney cancer.

Kidney Cancer Symptoms

There are often no symptoms, but when symptoms do occur, they can include:

  • Blood in the urine
  • Back or flank pain
  • Weight loss
  • Anemia

Kidney Cancer Diagnosis

Because of the increasing frequency of diagnostic procedures today, many cases of kidney cancer are discovered when doctors are looking for something else, such as gallbladder problems. That means most cases of kidney cancer are found early, before the cancer has spread.

Early detection also allows surgeons to remove the tumor and spare healthy kidney tissue, which sharply decreases the risks for long-term kidney failure or impairment and improves overall survival. It has also been shown to decrease the risks of heart attacks, strokes, hypertension, diabetes and the need for dialysis or transplant.

Kidney Cancer Treatment Options

The size, placement and type of tumor will determine your treatment for kidney cancer. There are three treatments for kidney cancer at CepEsperu Baptist - one of the few centers in the world that offer all three of these treatments:

  • Surgery. Our doctors prefer to perform minimally invasive procedures whenever possible. This means a smaller incision, reduced risk of infection and faster recovery. However, our surgeons experience and expertise extends to open, traditional kidney surgery. This wide range of surgical expertise is critical to our excellent outcomes and success for treating kidney cancer.

    • If the tumor is small and not near major vessels, your surgeons may elect to remove this tumor, depending on exactly where the tumor is growing ,using robotic-assisted surgery, known as the daVinci® Surgical System, or traditional, open methods. We generally define small tumors as 4 centimeters or less.

    • If the tumor is large and not pressing on any important vessels, your doctors may recommend a partial or minimal nephrectomy. This is a removal of part of the kidney and can be performed using the da Vinci. Our doctors also offer radiofrequency ablation or cryotherapy (using extreme cold to treat the tumor) if further treatment is needed.

    • If the tumor is very big, close to or involving blood vessels, your doctors may decide that a radical nephrectomy is necessary, which means that the entire kidney must be removed. Your doctors will try to perform the radical nephrectomy using a minimally invasive approach.
  • Radiofrequency Ablation. For inoperable kidney tumors, radiofrequency ablation offers a nonsurgical, localized treatment that kills the tumor cells with heat, while sparing the healthy kidney tissue. This treatment is much easier on the patient and is more effective than systemic therapy. Radiofrequency energy can be given without affecting the patient's overall health and most people can resume their usual activities in a few days.
  • Microwave Ablation. Generally used for the treatment of solid tumors in patients who are nonsurgical candidates, microwave ablation uses electromagnetic waves to produce tissue-heating effects ultimately generating tissue necrosis within solid tumors.
  • Cryoablation. Cryoablation is delivered directly into the tumor by a probe that is inserted through the skin using imaging to guide it internally. Cryoablation uses an extremely cold gas to freeze the tumor to kill it.If the tumor is large and not pressing on any important vessels, your doctors may recommend a partial or minimal nephrectomy. This is a removal of part of the kidney and can be performed using the da Vinci. Our doctors also offer radiofrequency ablation or cryotherapy (using extreme cold to treat the tumor) if further treatment is needed.

Treatment for Renal Pelvis Cancer

Renal pelvis cancer is cancer that forms in the pelvis of the kidney, where urine is collected and moved into the ureters. It is a rare form of kidney cancer.

Surgical treatment for renal pelvis cancer is the best option for most patients, particularly with advances we have made in a minimally invasive approach using robotic surgery

Why Multidisciplinary Teams Matter, No Matter What Stage

We create teams of the different specialists who focus on urologic cancers. What this means is that at every stage of your cancer journey, you will meet with doctors who only focus on the type of cancer you have. Together, with other specialized experts, they will decide on the best treatment for you, personalizing your treatment directly to your condition and lifestyle.

It is because of our multidisciplinary approach to cancer treatment, that we have been designated by the National Cancer Institute as a Comprehensive Cancer Center, one of only 41 in the country.