Kidney Cancer Specialists

Greater Hartford Urology Group

Urologists located in Hartford, Glastonbury & Enfield, CT

Over 70,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with kidney cancer every year, but the death rate from the condition has been steadily decreasing over the past decade. The team of renowned providers at Greater Hartford Urology Group offers exceptional diagnostic and treatment services for kidney cancer at their state-of-the-art offices in Hartford, Enfield, and Glastonbury, Connecticut. Schedule a visit today by phone or book online to learn more.

Kidney Cancer Q & A

What is kidney cancer?

Kidney cancer (or renal cancer) is a cancer that forms in your kidneys, which are the bean-shaped organs on either side of your spine in your lower abdomen. Your kidneys are responsible for cleaning your blood, filtering out waste products, and producing urine.

What are the risk factors for kidney cancer?

Some conditions that make you more likely to develop kidney cancer include:

  • Being older, male, or overweight
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Smoking
  • Long-term use of pain medications
  • Advanced kidney disease
  • Long-term dialysis treatments
  • Family history of kidney cancer
  • Exposure to certain chemicals, like asbestos, cadmium, and certain herbicides
  • Having lymphoma

Kidney cancer is also more prevalent amongst those of African American descent, though it’s not clear why.

What are the signs of kidney cancer?

There might not be any noticeable signs during the early stages of kidney cancer, but the condition can produce the following symptoms: 

  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Severe fatigue
  • Ankle or leg swelling
  • Diminished appetite
  • Blood in your urine
  • Anemia
  • Persistent pain in your side
  • Lump in your abdomen
  • Persistent fever

If you’re experiencing any of these conditions, schedule a visit with the team at Greater Hartford Urology Group immediately. They’re highly skilled in diagnostic procedures and can effectively determine whether you have kidney cancer.

How do you diagnose kidney cancer?

If your provider suspects kidney cancer, they begin by performing a thorough physical exam, feeling for any lumps in your side or abdomen. They also conduct a survey of your health history and might order additional tests, which could include urinalysis or blood tests. They might also recommend injecting dye into your system and taking an X-ray, CT scan, or MRI to track any potential tumors.

In many cases, your provider does not need to take a biopsy of your kidney tissue to diagnose kidney cancer. Nonetheless, they might suggest one to confirm the diagnosis.

How do you treat kidney cancer?

Treatment for kidney cancer typically begins with surgery to remove the cancerous tumor and associated tissue. There are three types of surgery for kidney cancer:

Radical nephrectomy

This is the most common type of surgery for kidney cancer and involves removing your kidney, adrenal gland, and the surrounding tissue. Your surgeon might also remove some of your nearby tissue, including your regional lymph nodes.

Simple nephrectomy

In this procedure, your surgeon removes only your kidney.

Partial nephrectomy

If your tumor is small, you might only need a partial nephrectomy, in which your surgeon removes the cancer from your kidney but leaves the rest of your kidney intact.

Other treatments for kidney cancer include:

  • Biologic or immunotherapy
  • Targeted therapy with anti-angiogenic agents, multikinase inhibitors, or m-TOR inhibitors
  • Radiation therapy
  • Chemotherapy

The team at Greater Hartford Urology Group consults with you to determine a treatment plan best suited to your particular needs and condition. Schedule a visit today by phone or book online to learn more.