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Kidney Cancer Specialist

Urology Associates Medical Group

Urologists located in Burbank, CA

Whether you have a family history of kidney cancer, or if you’ve recently been diagnosed, you’ll need expert care. The urology practitioners at Urology Associates Medical Group in Burbank, California, can guide you every step of the way. They’ll use the most state-of-the-art diagnostic and treatment options available, so you can recover as quickly and as easily as possible.

Kidney Cancer Q & A

What is kidney cancer?

Your kidneys are two bean-shaped organs, one on each side of your spine. They work diligently to remove waste from your blood and flush out waste through urine.

Cancer occurs when kidney cells become cancerous (malignant) and form into a tumor. Most of the time, this starts in the lining of tubules in your kidney.

Kidney cancers of all types are usually found before they spread to other organs, so your chances of having a full recovery is greater than with some other cancers. Even if you need to have a kidney removed you can still live a full healthy life with just one kidney.

Are certain people at risk for developing kidney cancer?

Yes. While medical experts don’t know exactly what causes kidney cancer, research shows trends among certain demographics. You might have a higher risk of developing kidney cancer if you:

  • Smoke cigarettes
  • Are overweight or obese
  • Are male
  • Take certain pain medications regularly
  • Are genetically predisposed to kidney cancer
  • Have lymphoma
  • Are African American
  • Have high blood pressure
  • Have been exposed to asbestos
  • Have advanced kidney disease

Will I need surgery?

You will most likely need surgery, but the kind of surgery depends on scope of your kidney cancer.

Partial nephrectomy
A partial nephrectomy is performed when a small renal tumor is found and removed while preserving the rest of the kidney. Removal of the tumor can be done with minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery.

Simple nephrectomy
If your kidney cancer hasn’t grown too aggressively, you might only need to have your kidney removed, which is called a simple nephrectomy.

Radical nephrectomy
The radical nephrectomy is the most common type of surgery to treat kidney cancer. With a radical nephrectomy, your urologist will need to remove not only the affected kidney, but also your adrenal gland and nearby tissues. Sometimes this surgery includes the removal of your surrounding lymph nodes.

Do some patients need to have both kidneys removed?

Although removing both kidneys is always a last resort, it’s sometimes necessary to eliminate the cancer. If you have both kidneys removed, you might be a candidate for a kidney transplant.

If you’re a candidate for a kidney transplant, you may have to wait some time for a donor kidney to be available. Until then, you’ll need to undergo dialysis 3 times a week.

A dialysis machine is like an artificial kidney and is used to filter and clean your blood of waste products and water until you can get a transplant.

No matter which level of treatment you need, rest assured, your doctors at Urology Associates Medical Group will provide the best care possible.