Kidney Cancer Specialist

San Jose Urology Partners

Urology & Minimally Invasive Urological Oncology located in North Valley, San Jose, CA

An estimated 63,340 cases of kidney cancer will occur in the United States in 2018, according to the American Cancer Society. At San Jose Urology Partners in the North Valley area of San Jose, California, James Hwong, MD, knows that kidney cancer can be life-threatening and the right medical treatment is imperative. Dr. Hwong and the experienced, compassionate team at San Jose Urology Partners offer the latest in diagnostic testing and treatment methods. Call or click to schedule online.

Kidney Cancer Q & A

What is kidney cancer?

Kidney cancer starts in the kidneys, the two bean-shaped organs about the size of your fist. Your kidneys are located behind your abdominal organs with one kidney on either side of your spine. The most common type of kidney cancer is renal cell carcinoma, which accounts for about 90% of cancerous tumors.

What are the symptoms of kidney cancer?

Kidney cancer doesn’t usually cause symptoms in the early stages. As the cancer advances, signs and symptoms can include:

  • Blood in your urine that may appear a pink or reddish color
  • Persistent pain in your side or back
  • Decrease in appetite
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Intermittent fever

If you have any worrying symptoms, visit San Jose Urology Partners for an evaluation.

What causes kidney cancer?

It isn’t clear what causes kidney cancer, but certain risk factors might play a role, such as:

  • Aging
  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • High-blood pressure
  • Long-term dialysis treatment for kidney failure
  • Certain inherited syndromes, such as tuberous sclerosis complex
  • Family history of kidney cancer
  • Exposure to certain substances, such as specific herbicides or cadmium

Kidney cancer starts when some of your kidney cells develop mutations in their DNA that tell the cells to grow and divide rapidly. The abnormal cells accumulate to form a tumor that can spread beyond the kidney.

What are the treatments for kidney cancer?

To diagnose your kidney cancer, our team may order certain tests or scans, such as blood and urine tests, imaging tests, and a biopsy. We determine the stage of your cancer based on the size of your tumor and how much the cancer has spread.

When the cancer is confined to your kidney, surgery is typically the only treatment needed with routine follow-ups. Medications, such as radiation and chemotherapy, may be utilized when necessary.

There are different types of surgery, including surgery to remove the entire kidney, a border of healthy tissue, and in some cases, additional nearby tissues like the lymph nodes or adrenal gland. In some cases, surgery can be performed to remove the tumor and a small border of healthy tissue that surrounds the tumor, rather than the entire kidney.

Other kidney cancer treatments include:

  • Biological therapy
  • Cryoablation
  • Radiofrequency ablation
  • Targeted therapy, which blocks the specific abnormal signals that allow kidney cancer cells to multiply

Our team may perform kidney cancer surgery using the revolutionary da Vinci® robotic-assisted surgical system, in which the physician sits at a nearby console in front of a high-definition monitor, and uses hand movements to control the robotic surgical instruments. The da Vinci system allows for smaller incisions, enhanced precision, and less recovery downtime.

For quality care, call San Jose Urology Partners or schedule here on the website.