Your kidneys are two fist-sized organs, located on either side of your spine just below the rib cage area. When your kidneys are healthy, these blood-filtering powerhouses can remove waste from 1 cup of blood every 2 minutes. Your kidneys also help regulate your blood pressure and promote the production of red blood cells.
When malignant tissue originates in the kidneys, it is called kidney cancer. As with any type of cancer, early treatment, before the cancer has spread, is of critical importance. In the case of kidney cancer, the cancerous tissue may travel to other tissues in the body and continue to grow there.
What Is Renal Cell Carcinoma?
There are many types of kidney cancer. Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is the most common type of kidney cancer that occurs in adults. It occurs when cancerous cells are found in the lining of the tiny tubes (tubules) in the kidneys.
Those with an added risk of developing RCC include older adults, men, smokers, and those who are obese or who have a family history of kidney cancer. People with kidney disease, especially if they require dialysis, also have an increased risk of developing kidney cancer.
Signs & Symptoms of Kidney Cancer
Most often, there are no early signs or symptoms of kidney cancer. However, once signs and symptoms appear, they may include:
- Blood in your urine
- Low back pain (or a lump) on just one side
- Unintentional weight loss
- Persistent fever
To diagnose kidney cancer, you will likely have both urine and blood tests. Imaging tests such as X-rays, ultrasound, CT scan, or MRI may be used to create detailed pictures of your kidneys to confirm a diagnosis and identify whether it has spread (metastasized) outside the kidneys. A needle biopsy is used to confirm a diagnosis, staging, and help identify a treatment plan.
Treating Renal Cell Carcinoma
Minor to moderate cancerous kidney tumors, caught early enough, can be successfully treated with easy minimally invasive treatments using ultrasound or X-ray guidance, such as embolization and thermal ablation.
These minimally invasive procedures are safe, effective, and can be performed on an outpatient basis under conscious sedation in one of the state-of-the-art in-office surgery suites at Florida Endovascular and Interventional. These treatments avoid the added risks of traditional, “open” surgical procedures. Importantly, these treatments are more likely to preserve the greatest amount of kidney function.
This treatment involves threading a catheter from an artery in the groin or arm into the artery that supplies blood to the affected kidney. A tiny microcatheter is then advanced to the branch supplying the tumor and the blood supply to the tumor is prevented using medication or materials.
Radiofrequency Thermal Ablation
Radiofrequency thermal ablation may be performed on its own, or in combination with transcatheter embolization. A special probe goes through the skin into the kidney, where the tumor is. Once in place, the probe heats up to destroy the tumor and surrounding tissue. This procedure can be repeated as often as necessary to control the disease.
Where radiofrequency thermal ablation relies on heat to destroy cancerous tissue, cryoablation uses freezing temperatures to kill tumors and malignant tissue. It is conducted similarly to radiofrequency ablation. Cryoablation may be used as a standalone treatment, or in combination with other therapies.
Kidney Tumor Treatment in South Florida
Do you have a kidney tumor and are looking for the least invasive surgical method possible to shrink or destroy the tumor? Contact the interventional oncology radiologists at Florida Endovascular and Interventional by calling (786) 534-2555 to find out more. You can also request an appointment now. We look forward to seeing you at one of our four South Florida locations: Miami Lakes, Plantation, Coconut Creek, and Aventura.