Most cancers are named after the part of the body where the cancer first begins, and kidney cancer is no exception. Kidney cancer begins in the kidneys - two large, bean-shaped organs - one located to the left, and the other to the right of the backbone. Renal is the Latin word for kidney, and kidney cancer may also be referred to as renal cancer.
About 57,760 persons in the US are expected to be diagnosed with kidney and pelvic renal cancers in 2009. The most common type is called renal cell cancer.
Leading the Way in Kidney Cancer Care
Our team of urologic surgeons performed the world’s first kidney removal using minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery. Compared to traditional surgery, laparoscopic surgery substantially reduces the pain and discomfort of patients and hastens recovery.
Laparoscopic kidney removal requires only three or four small punctures, whereas traditional surgery requires a large incision. The team also has developed techniques to perform laparoscopic partial kidney removal – a complex procedure being performed at only a few centers around the country.
We are one of two major medical centers in the country currently offering treatment for kidney cancer patients ineligible for any type of surgery due to their failing health or age. This group of patients may receive percutaneous cryoablation, a procedure that involves inserting probes through the skin to freeze small tumors in the kidney. This procedure currently is appropriate only for small tumors or for patients who have no other alternative. Because this technique holds the promise for being the least debilitating of all kidney cancer treatments, researchers are focused on expanding its application for the future.