The London Clinic, 120 Harley Street, London, W1G 7JW

Kidney Cancer

Kidney cancer or renal cancer affects more than 12,000 people in the UK every year. The most common sign of kidney cancer is blood in the urine, which may only be a microscopic trace that is detected during a urine test. If you have symptoms of kidney cancer then Mark Feneley can usually confirm the diagnosis with radiological tests. You may then need surgery to remove the growth.

Kidney Cancer Treatment

Symptoms of Kidney Cancer

Kidney cancer doesn’t always cause noticeable symptoms, especially in the early stages. Some people are only diagnosed with kidney cancer because it is spotted during tests that are being performed for other reasons. However, kidney cancer can cause the following symptoms:

  • Blood in your urine, which may make it look darker than usual or give it a reddish colour
  • Pain in your lower back or side
  • Lumps or swellings in your side

You might also notice that you are more tired than usual, you’ve been feeling generally unwell or losing weight unexpectedly.

If you notice any of these symptoms then you should see a doctor to find out the cause. Other conditions such as urinary infections and kidney stones can sometimes cause similar symptoms but there is a chance that you could have kidney cancer. It is essential to start treatment as soon as possible if you are affected by cancer so that we have the best chances of success.

Who is at Risk of Kidney Cancer?

Anyone can be affected by kidney cancer but it is very rare in the under 50s. Most people who are diagnosed with kidney cancer will be in their 60s, 70s or 80s. You may also be at increased risk of kidney cancer if you are overweight, a smoker, or you have a family history of the disease. People who have high blood pressure or who have undergone long-term dialysis are also more likely to be affected.

How is Kidney Cancer Diagnosed?

If you have symptoms that might be caused by kidney cancer then your doctor may want to run blood and urine tests to rule out other possible cause such as a urinary infection. You may then need to have an ultrasound or CT scan to check your kidneys.

Most cases of kidney cancer can be diagnosed by these imaging tests. Your doctor will be able to identify the type, size and location of any growths in the kidneys. In some cases, additional tests may be required to confirm the diagnosis of kidney cancer. Some patients may need to have a biopsy to take a sample from the growth if there is any uncertainty about the diagnosis. This might be the case if the tumour is still small. The sample can then be tested in the lab to confirm whether the growth is cancerous.

If you are diagnosed with kidney cancer then your urologist may want to perform further tests to determine the stage of the cancer. The treatment approach will depend on how advanced the cancer has become. You might have some additional radiological scans to learn more about your condition.

Kidney Cancer Treatments

The most common treatment for kidney cancer is surgery. Different types of procedure can be performed depending on how large the tumour has grown. It may be possible to remove part of the kidney but in some cases, it is necessary to remove the entire kidney.

Other kinds of treatment are sometimes recommended alongside or instead of surgery. You might have radiotherapy or biological therapy to reduce the size of the tumour. Various minimally invasive treatments are also becoming more common. The cancer cells can sometimes be eliminated with cryotherapy, radiofrequency ablation, or by using the embolization procedure to cut off the tumour’s blood supply.

The right treatment approach for you will depend on the size and location of the tumour and how advanced the cancer has become. Your doctor will explain the treatment options in detail so that you can make the right choices about your care.

If you have symptoms of kidney cancer or you’ve been referred to a specialist by your GP then you can make an appointment to see Mark Feneley in London. As an experienced consultant urologist he can provide the tests, treatments and support you need.

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