Individualized Care for Patients with Kidney Cancer


The kidneys filter excess salt, water and waste out of the blood and transform it into urine or waste to be eliminated from the body. Processing 200 liters of fluid every 24 hours, the kidneys also help to balance the fluid and electrolytes in the body. Kidneys help control blood pressure by producing a hormone called renin. Occasionally, people can develop noncancerous kidney tumors, which are smaller masses. Larger masses or tumors that continue to grow in size are more likely to be cancerous. The most common type of adult kidney cancer is known as renal cell carcinoma (renal cell cancer).

Kidney cancer affects more men than women and more African American, American Indians and Alaskan Native people than any other ethnicities. Most people who develop it are older with the average age of onset at 64. When detected early and sometimes by accident on imaging tests for other illnesses, it has a high rate of survival.



While there is no definitive cause, there are risk factors that increase the chance of developing kidney cancer. Some risk factors include:

  • Age is often a factor since the risk increases with age
  • Smoking increases the risk since the kidneys filter the carcinogenic toxins from tobacco products absorbed into the bloodstream
  • Obesity and a poor diet increase the risk
  • Having chronic and untreated high blood pressure or hypertension can put a strain on kidney functions and can increase the risk
  • Long-term dialysis for the treatment of kidney failure is another risk factor
  • Genetics and family history increases the risk of developing the disease


People usually do not experience symptoms in the early stages. Larger tumors may cause more signs and symptoms. The symptoms are also common symptoms of other disorders that can be benign. Therefore, if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, it is important to see a doctor to determine the exact cause of your symptoms.

Some signs of kidney cancer include:

  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Pain in your back or side that persists
  • Blood in urine
  • Loss of appetite
  • Low red blood cell count (anemia)
  • Fatigue
  • Unexplained fevers that don’t go away


Blue Ridge Urological of Fishersville, VA offers the highest quality of care in the diagnosis and treatment of kidney cancers. We use the latest technology to ensure that each patient has an accurate diagnosis and an individualized treatment plan for treating any disease or condition related to the urinary tract. Some of the tests and procedures used to help in diagnosis are:

  • Blood tests – to check for diseases and organ function
  • Urinalysis – checks for blood, protein or infection in the urine
  • CT Scan or MRI Imaging tests will help identify a tumor on the kidney or any kidney abnormality
  • Ultrasound images to view kidney
  • Kidney mass biopsy may be needed to determine what type of tumor is present

The next part of the diagnosis is the grading and staging of the kidney tumor. This information will quantify how aggressive the tumor is and if it has spread into other parts of your body.


If you have been diagnosed with kidney cancer, Blue Ridge Urological provides leading-edge surgical treatment options. We will work as part of a multidisciplinary team, including radiation specialists, chemotherapy specialists and immunotherapy specialists to ensure that you have the best treatment available.

Usually, the first step in kidney cancer treatment is to remove the tumor, especially if it has been detected early and the cancer cells have not spread into other areas of the body. There is a range of treatment options available from nonsurgical to surgical procedures to remove the cancer and your best treatment option will depend on the grade and stage of your kidney cancer. Some of the options for treatment include:

If the tumor or mass on the kidney is less than 3 cm you may be able to pursue an active surveillance or monitoring treatment plan. Your doctor will determine how often you should have CT Scans and ultrasounds to check the progress or growth of the tumor.

For smaller tumors, usually less than 3 cm, your doctor may offer ablation. There are two types of ablation; cryoablation, which uses a very cold gas to destroy tumor cells, and radiofrequency ablation, which uses electrical current to destroy the tumor cells. Ablation may be a good option for patients who are too sick to undergo surgery or who do not want surgery.

A partial nephrectomy is the removal of the part of the kidney that is diseased or has a tumor. If the tumor is small enough, or confined to one location, the doctor can remove a section of the kidney and leave the healthy portion.

The removal of the whole kidney. Usually reserved for patients who have large or aggressive tumors. This surgery may be done laparoscopically which generally offers a shorter recovery and a faster healing time.

These procedures may be the first steps in eliminating kidney cancer and depending on the stage and grade of your cancer, other therapies may follow such as: radiation therapy, targeted therapy immunotherapy and chemotherapy.

At Blue Ridge Urological, we stay abreast of the latest techniques, procedures and clinical trials to ensure that our patients receive the highest standard of care for the diagnosis and treatment of their urological condition. Your individualized treatment options will depend on the stage and grade of your cancer. If you would like to learn more about how Blue Ridge Urological can help, call (540) 405-8232 today or schedule a consultation online.