Each year, about 81,800 Americans receive a kidney cancer diagnosis. If you have risk factors for kidney cancer, there are steps you can take to improve your kidney health and avoid cancer-related complications.
At Urology Specialist Group, our highly skilled urologists provide diagnostic testing and treatment services for kidney cancer.
We also specialize in preventive resources protecting your long-term kidney health from cancer and other diseases.
Understanding your kidney cancer risk factors
Your kidneys are responsible for filtering toxins and waste out of your blood. Kidney cancer occurs when abnormal cells in the organs multiply and grow out of control. The cells eventually form a mass known as a tumor.
The medical community doesn’t understand the root cause of kidney cancer. However, there are known risk factors that can increase the likelihood you’ll develop the disease. Factors that can influence your risk for kidney cancer include:
- Chronic kidney disease
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- Exposure to asbestos and other environmental toxins
You may also be at high risk for kidney cancer if you have close family members with the disease or if you have a history of other types of cancer.
Controlling your cancer risk factors
While certain cancer risks aren’t preventable, such as your family history, there are many factors you can control. The earlier you start making changes that support your kidney health, the better your chances are for cancer prevention.
Our urology team can recommend specific strategies you can use to lower your kidney cancer risk. Our physicians suggest that you take measures like quitting smoking and losing weight to achieve a healthy body mass index (BMI).
If you have uncontrolled blood pressure, speak with our team about relaxation techniques you can use to lower your blood pressure naturally. You might also need to take medications to control your blood pressure when lifestyle changes aren’t enough.
When you work around asbestos and other dangerous materials that can lead to kidney cancer, be sure to take the appropriate precautions. You should also schedule preventive cancer screenings with our team if you’ve been exposed to environmental toxins.
What to expect during a kidney cancer screening
While there are no screening guidelines for kidney cancer, our providers determine which tests you need based on your cancer risk factors and overall health.
A preventive kidney cancer screening may include one or more tests to assess the function of your kidneys and identify precancerous or cancerous cells. Your preventive screening might involve:
- Urine test
- Computed tomography (CT) scan
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
If these tests indicate abnormalities that occur with cancer, you may also need a biopsy. During this surgical procedure, our team removes a sample of tissue from your kidneys to check for cancer cells under a microscope.
When cancer is present in the kidneys, our specialists discuss the next steps you need to take to prevent cancer from spreading.
Available treatments for kidney cancer include radiofrequency ablation, a procedure to destroy cancer cells with heat. We also offer cryotherapy, a minimally invasive treatment that uses cold energy to freeze cancerous cells in the kidneys.
Call the Urology Specialist Group office in Hialeah or Miami Lakes, Florida, to schedule a kidney cancer consultation if you’re at high risk for the disease, or book an appointment online today.