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Kidney Cancer

Kidney Cancer

What are the kidneys?

Most people have two kidneys; they are at the back of the body, one on each side of the spine, just below the ribcage.  The kidneys are part of the urinary system. They filter blood to remove excess water and waste products, which is made into urine.

On top of each kidney there is an adrenal gland and this makes hormones.

Diagnosing kidney cancer

Most people are diagnosed after going to see their GP when they notice symptoms and referred to see a Urologist or Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) at the hospital. There they may undergo a number of tests and investigations, such as:

  • Blood tests
  • Ultrasound guided biopsy/Standard biopsy
  • Ultrasound/CT/MRI scan
  • Chest x-ray

Treatments for kidney cancer

There are a number of treatments for kidney cancer, dependant on the type and grade of cancer:

  • Surgery – Nephrectomy or partial nephrectomy (removal or part removal of kidney)
  • Tumour ablation – destroying the tumour cells with cryotherapy (liquid nitrogen) or radiofrequency (using electric currents to produce high temperatures to destroy the tumour
  • Arterial embolisation – where substance is injected into the blood vessel in the kidney to block the blood supply to reduce the oxygen supply and nutrients to the kidney

Below you will find some useful information regarding kidney cancer. You can navigate your way around these websites in your own time.

These websites provide a lot of information regarding kidney cancer diagnostics, investigations, treatments, side effects, emotional support and further support that’s available.

Kidney Cancer UK

Kidney Cancer Support Network

Macmillan Cancer Support

BAUS (British Association of Urological Surgeons)