Hundreds of reviews rate us 5 out of 5 stars!

Kidney Cancer

The good news for patients is that kidney cancer has a 5-year relative survival rate between 70-93 percent. Visiting your AUCNY urologist, getting screened and working with your primary care physician to develop a plan to help you stay healthy is one of our primary goals. Treating you after you have been diagnosed is another primary goal for those who have already developed kidney cancer.

Kidney cancer is a cancer that originates in one of the two kidneys which are located in the lower back on either side of the spine above the pelvis. It is one of the most common cancers with the lifetime risk of development being about 2% in men and 1% in women.

Risk factors associated with kidney cancer are smoking, obesity, high blood pressure (even if controlled), a family history of kidney cancer or certain inherited medical problems (especially a sibling), exposure to certain chemicals, being of certain ethnicities use of certain medications, and having advanced kidney disease (especially those needing dialysis). The risk increases as we age but both adults and children can develop cancer of the kidney although the resulting cancers are different types.

Symptoms of kidney cancer may not be present early in the disease or may include:

  • Blood in the urine
  • Persistent back pain on one side not caused by injury
  • Loss of appetite
  • Unexplained weight loss not caused by dieting
  • Fatigue
  • Fever not caused by infection


Diagnostic testing for kidney cancer:

  • Detailed history and physical examination – requesting details on symptoms, personal and family medical history, social history including smoking habits, general examination of the body with special emphasis on the flank area including rectal/pelvic exam and blood /urine testing
  • Intravenous pyelogram (IVP) – a type of x-ray imaging where an intravenous contrast dye followed by an x-ray permits visualization of the kidney, ureter, and bladder
  • CT, MRI, PET scan – imaging procedures to the presence, extent, size, and location of tumors
  • Biopsy – taking a portion of tissue for the pathologist to determine the presence, extent of abnormal cells and the degree of abnormality

Treatment Options

There are many treatment options available if you receive a diagnosis of kidney cancer. Your AUCNY physician will discuss the most appropriate treatment for your situation.

Treatments options include:

  • Surgery to remove the tumor or removal of the entire kidney
  • Cryoablation -Surgical use of an instrument placed into the kidney to destroy cancer cells through freezing or RFA (radiofrequency ablation) using heat to kill cancer cells
  • Local or systemic chemotherapeutic medications – may be used before surgery to shrink the tumor and/or after surgery to help treat and reduce chance of recurrence
  • Immunotherapy – a newer method of treatment to assist one’s own immune system in fighting tumor growth
  • Radiation – our colleagues at Advanced Radiation Centers of New York (ARC) team with our AUCNY doctors to provide state-of-the-art treatment options to fight kidney cancer that has spread. With eight conveniently located facilities, you will be close to an ARC facility that will provide compassionate care. To learn more about radiation treatments from our trusted partners, visit

Urological Conditions & Treatments

Urological Cancers & Treatments