In the past, most kidney cancers were identified when patients complained of characteristic symptoms, such as blood in the urine and back pain.
Today, most are discovered during sonograms, ultrasounds or other imaging techniques ordered for a checkup or nonspecific complaint.
Depending on the size of the mass, the probability of kidney cancer can be estimated. Smaller kidney masses can be benign growths 30 percent to 40 percent of the time. Larger growths are more likely to be malignant.
Typically, after identifying a renal mass that is suspicious for kidney cancer, follow-up imaging is scheduled within three to six months. If there is no change in the mass, the doctor schedules further follow-ups. Typically, this involves consultations every six to 12 months.
If the kidney mass grows or changes in character, intervention may be required.
Treatment options include:
- Active surveillance
- Laparoscopic cryoablation
- Laparoscopic cytoreductive nephrectomy
- Laparoscopic radical nephrectomy
- Laparoscopic radiofrequency ablation
- Laparoscopic partial nephrectomy
- Open cytoreductive nephrectomy
- Open nephrectomy with vena cava reconstruction
- Open partial nephrectomy
- Open radical nephrectomy
- Percutaneous cryoablation
- Percutaneous radiofrequency ablation
- Robot-assisted partial nephrectomy
Learn more about kidney cancer treatment options ›
The UC Irvine Health Center for Urological Care team includes the nation's most experienced kidney cancer specialists whose mission is to provide personalized care that is tailored to each patient's individual needs.
Our team members are internationally regarded leaders in the diagnosis and treatment of kidney diseases, including cancer. They have developed new technologies and procedures that have set the standard of care across the nation. Among our innovations are:
In-office kidney biopsy
The UC Irvine Health team was among the first anywhere to use advanced ultrasound-targeting technologies to biopsy small renal masses in an outpatient setting. The procedure causes little pain to patients but the histology information it provides allows our kidney experts to offer targeted treatment strategies.
These include minimally invasive partial nephrectomies performed through keyhole incisions or cyroablation to destroy cancer cells with cold or heat energy.
Robot-assisted laparoscopic partial nephrectomy
The UC Irvine Health team is highly skilled at performing partial nephrectomies using the da Vinci Surgical System® to precisely remove cancer tissue while preserving as much kidney function as possible. The combination of our surgeons' experience and this technology has resulted in high success rates with fewer complications.
Laparoscopic and percutaneous kidney cryoablation
Our urologists collectively are among the most experienced in the world at kidney cancer ablation. Partnering with interventional radiologists and other physicians who are part of the UC Irvine Ablative Oncology Center, we have developed techniques to target kidney cancer tumors through the skin with an unparalleled level of accuracy and safety.
Using state-of-the-art, image-guided technologies, our specialists insert insert thin needle-like probes directly into the kidney tumors to destroy them with super-cooled temperatures or heat.
Cryoablation offers appropriately selected patients the most minimally invasive treatment option. Many patients are able to go home the same day without visible scarring.
For more information or to schedule a consultation, please call us at 714-292-9716.
Our board-certified UC Irvine Health kidney cancer specialists are world leaders in the diagnosis and treatment of kidney cancer and other diseases of the kidney.
Our kidney cancer specialists are: