Urology Austin

Urology Austin Explains What You Need to Know About Kidney Cancer

The highly trained urologists at Urology Austin treat kidney cancer using minimally invasive surgical techniques such as laparoscopic and robotic surgery, cryosurgery, as well as traditional open surgery depending on the size and location of the tumor. Understanding the symptoms, risk factors and treatment options can improve cure rates and long term survival.

Kidney cancer is one of the ten most common cancers in both men and women, although it’s approximately twice as likely to occur in men as in women. It is usually found in people over 40.

In one year*, the American Cancer Society estimates, there will be:

  • About 63,920 new cases of kidney cancer
  • About 13,860 deaths from kidney cancer

The most common form of kidney cancer is renal cell carcinoma. This type of kidney cancer usually begins with a single tumor (or mass) in the kidney, but there may be more than one tumor in one or both kidneys.

Most renal masses are discovered “incidentally”, ie, during the work-up or evaluation of another condition such as abdominal pain, nausea, or after a motor vehicle accident when abdominal imaging is often performed.

Symptoms of Kidney Cancer

It’s common for people in the early stages of kidney cancer to have no symptoms whatsoever. As the tumor grows, you may notice:

  • Blood in the urine (which can make your urine a darker red or rust color)
  • Persistent pain in your abdomen/flank
  • A lump or mass in your abdomen/flank
  • Fatigue
  • Persistent fever
  • Unexplained weight loss

If you experience these symptoms, our Austin urologists can diagnose and treat them, whatever the cause. Other conditions that may cause these symptoms: a non-cancerous tumor, a kidney cyst, or another problem.

Risk Factors for Kidney Cancer

Researchers and doctors aren’t certain what causes kidney cancer, but they do know that there are certain factors that increase your risk of developing the disease:

Smoking – Urology Austin emphasizes that all patients should stop smoking. It’s one of the most important steps you can take for your overall health, and to prevent kidney cancer. Smokers are twice as likely to develop kidney cancer as non-smokers. The risk also seems to be higher for heavy smokers. Go to smokefree.gov for more information about how to quit, or talk to the staff at Urology Austin about smoking cessation programs.

Obesity- Although we’re not sure why, obesity puts you at higher risk, so commit to lose weight by eating a healthy diet and adding exercise to your daily routine.

Exposure to certain chemicals – prevent or limit your exposure to certain chemicals, including cadmium, benzene, asbestos, organic solvents and some herbicides.

Other risk factors for kidney cancer, beyond your control, include:

Being male – Men are approximately twice as likely to get kidney cancer.

Age – Most cases occur in people over the age of 40, with the average age at diagnosis being 64.**

Family history of kidney cancer – The risk factor is greatest if you have a sibling with kidney cancer.

Particular genetic conditions – Von Hippel-Lindau disease or inherited papillary real cell carcinoma

High blood pressure

At Urology Austin, we pride ourselves on providing our patients with the most up-to-date diagnosis and treatment methods for kidney cancer. If you would like to learn more about kidney cancer, diagnosis or treatment, contact us at Urology Austin to make an appointment. Our experienced and skilled physicians are here to help you.