Kidney (Renal) Cancer

We pay attention to your needs, enabling you to receive therapies that optimize your quality of life.

Your kidneys filter blood, stabilize blood pressure, balance fluids and produce urine. Kidney (renal) cancer occurs when an abnormal mass forms. It’s a common cancer type. But this diagnosis can still be worrisome and raise questions about your future.

The team of specialists at Memorial Cancer Institute understands your concerns and is in the best position to help you. We successfully treat early-stage disease, protecting you against complications that can affect your quality of life. We offer a broad range of therapies for advanced cancers that optimize kidney function and survival.

Connect with a patient access center. We can help you find the care you need.


Diagnosing Kidney Cancer

Your evaluation starts with lab tests. We run tests to check for blood or cancer cells in your urine. You may also need imaging studies such as an MRI or ultrasound to help us learn more about the size and location of the kidney mass.

A biopsy is necessary to confirm the diagnosis. You undergo a procedure during which we take a tumor tissue sample. Knowledgeable pathologists examine it under a microscope to determine the kidney cancer type and stage (severity). We also run genetic testing to determine whether you’re eligible for targeted therapy.

Kidney Cancer Treatments and Support

Surgery is the primary renal cancer treatment. We remove the least amount of kidney tissue as necessary, which is often only a section of one kidney. You can survive with one kidney, but it raises complication risks, which is why we use a conservative approach. Our expertise with minimally invasive techniques helps most patients go home the day after their procedure.

You may benefit from immunotherapy after surgery. It uses substances that boost the immune system’s ability to detect and fight cancer cells. We offer a variety of options.

Treatment for advanced cases, including kidney cancer that spreads to other areas, may include one or more medical therapies. In addition to immunotherapy, you may benefit from therapies that target specific gene mutations.

Supportive Therapies and Services for Renal Cancer

Our whole-health focus includes services that ease your mind and body during kidney cancer treatment. We also offer integrative medicine services such as acupuncture, massage and mindfulness. Cancer support services, including nutrition counseling, emotional support from a psychologist and spiritual care, are also available.


Kidney Cancer Care: Why Choose Memorial Cancer Institute?

Our experts include doctors (urologic oncologists) with advanced training and decades of experience in kidney cancer treatment. They are renowned specialists who have made significant contributions to the field. Their skills and depth of knowledge lead to exceptional care and outcomes. Meet our team.

Highlights of our renal cancer program include:

  • Multidisciplinary approach: Urologic oncologists work alongside medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, radiologists and pathologists. We meet regularly to discuss your case and coordinate services. Our team approach helps you receive complete care tailored to your needs.
  • Appropriate therapies: Your doctor may recommend a watch-and-wait approach before treating a small kidney tumor. When surgery is necessary, we often remove only part of one kidney instead of the entire organ. Your care may also involve immunotherapy to prevent cancer recurrence. Our thoughtful approach gives you the best chances for healing.
  • Cancer genetics: Our cancer genetics program accurately assesses your risk of kidney cancer. If you have mutations associated with this diagnosis, we perform regular assessments that enables earlier detection and treatment. If you have a cancer diagnosis, we check for mutations that respond to specific therapies.
  • Minimally invasive surgery: Our experts helped pioneer robotic techniques for renal cancer. After making small incisions, we use tiny instruments and special technologies to remove the mass with a high degree of precision. You can expect less blood loss, a shorter hospital stay and quicker recovery.
  • Medical therapies: You have access to the best available medical oncology options for kidney tumors. These include therapies like epithelial growth factor receptor (EGFR) inhibitors that target mutations supporting cancer cell growth. We may also combine multiple medical therapies to enhance treatment response.

Connect with a patient access center. We can help you find the care you need.