Kidney Cancer

Our specialists provide high-quality, personalized care for this disease

The kidneys remove water and waste from your blood, keeping your body healthy. Kidney cancer is also called renal cell carcinoma or renal cancer. It causes abnormal cells to grow into tumors in the tiny tubules that filter your blood. This prevents you from adequately filtering waste.

At IU Health, kidney cancer specialists have extensive experience in providing high-quality, personalized care for kidney cancer.

The following puts you at greater risk of developing kidney cancer:

  • Family history of kidney cancer
  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • Other kidney diseases

Symptoms of kidney cancer include:

Other conditions can cause symptoms of kidney cancer such as a urinary tract infection or kidney stones. Report these symptoms to your physician when they appear. A good long-term outlook requires early detection.

Overview

The following puts you at greater risk of developing kidney cancer:

  • Family history of kidney cancer
  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • Other kidney diseases

Symptoms of kidney cancer include:

Other conditions can cause symptoms of kidney cancer such as a urinary tract infection or kidney stones. Report these symptoms to your physician when they appear. A good long-term outlook requires early detection.

As kidney cancer progresses, it can spread to the closest lymph nodes or to bone, lung or liver tissue. Your treatment depends on whether the cancer exists in your kidney only or has spread to other tissues.

IU Health physicians will work with you to develop a treatment plan specific to your condition, needs and preferences. Your team of experts will include the expertise and knowledge of many specialists, including:

That means you'll have a full range of treatment options.

Your physicians will use surgery to remove the affected area of the kidney or of the entire kidney. This is the primary treatment for kidney cancer. Minimally invasive techniques allow your surgeons to remove all or part of your kidney through a tiny incision.

IU Health surgeons perform about 80 percent of kidney removals with minimally invasive techniques. These techniques include:

  • Laparoscopic surgery
  • Robotic surgery
  • Percutaneous procedures (using interventional radiology to remove tumors from the kidney through a tiny incision in a single blood vessel).

Kidney cancer does not respond well to chemotherapy so surgery occurs at an early stage for effective treatment. New advances continue to change the way IU Health treats kidney cancer, shortening healing times and improving outcomes.

Kidney Cancer Treatment

As kidney cancer progresses, it can spread to the closest lymph nodes or to bone, lung or liver tissue. Your treatment depends on whether the cancer exists in your kidney only or has spread to other tissues.

IU Health physicians will work with you to develop a treatment plan specific to your condition, needs and preferences. Your team of experts will include the expertise and knowledge of many specialists, including:

That means you'll have a full range of treatment options.

Your physicians will use surgery to remove the affected area of the kidney or of the entire kidney. This is the primary treatment for kidney cancer. Minimally invasive techniques allow your surgeons to remove all or part of your kidney through a tiny incision.

IU Health surgeons perform about 80 percent of kidney removals with minimally invasive techniques. These techniques include:

  • Laparoscopic surgery
  • Robotic surgery
  • Percutaneous procedures (using interventional radiology to remove tumors from the kidney through a tiny incision in a single blood vessel).

Kidney cancer does not respond well to chemotherapy so surgery occurs at an early stage for effective treatment. New advances continue to change the way IU Health treats kidney cancer, shortening healing times and improving outcomes.

Patient Stories for Kidney Cancer

Kidney Cancer Association

This website offers information on every aspect of life with kidney cancer, including specific information regarding the condition, as well as links to financial assistance and clinical trials.

American Cancer Society

The ACS site provides extensive education about kidney cancer, as well as links to support services.

National Cancer Institute

This NCI website provides a wide range of information about kidney cancer, as well as family resources and links to clinical trials.

Resources

Kidney Cancer Association

This website offers information on every aspect of life with kidney cancer, including specific information regarding the condition, as well as links to financial assistance and clinical trials.

American Cancer Society

The ACS site provides extensive education about kidney cancer, as well as links to support services.

National Cancer Institute

This NCI website provides a wide range of information about kidney cancer, as well as family resources and links to clinical trials.