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Kidney Cancer

Urologists located in Spokane, WA

Kidney Cancer

Nearly 80,000 Americans receive a kidney cancer diagnosis yearly. At the Urology Surgery Center Northwest in Spokane, Washington, the region’s leading urology experts provide compassionate kidney cancer care focused on your particular needs. The ambulatory surgery center allows you to undergo advanced treatments and return home that day. Schedule your appointment online today or call the office for help.

What is kidney cancer?

Kidney cancer affects the pair of fist-sized organs attached to the upper back abdominal wall. Your kidneys clean your blood, removing excess salt, water, and other wastes and concentrating them in urine.


When kidney cells grow out of control, they form a tumor. About 25% of kidney tumors are benign (noncancerous), while the remaining 75% are malignant (cancerous).


About 9 in 10 kidney cancers are renal cell carcinoma. These cancerous cells grow in the kidney tubules (the tiny tubes that return nutrients and fluids to the blood).

What are the symptoms of kidney cancer?

Kidney cancer is often asymptomatic in the early stages. As the tumor grows, it usually causes symptoms including:


  • Blood in the urine
  • Pain in the flank area (between the bottom of the ribs and the hip bones)
  • Lower back pain on one side 
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fever that’s unrelated to an infection
  • Anemia symptoms like fatigue and weakness


If you have these symptoms, don’t automatically assume it’s kidney cancer. Many other conditions cause these symptoms, including other urological cancers. The Urology Surgery Center Northwest can evaluate your symptoms and accurately diagnose your condition.

How is kidney cancer diagnosed?

Kidney cancer diagnosis usually starts with blood and urine tests. You’ll also have imaging procedures (ultrasound, X-ray, MRI, or CT scan) to visualize the tumor.


In some situations, you’ll need a kidney biopsy. Your practitioner inserts a needle through the skin into the kidney to withdraw a small sample of cells for testing.


More than 50% of kidney cancers are discovered during testing for other problems.

How is kidney cancer treated?

Kidney cancer treatment depends on which kind of cancer you have and what stage it’s in. Some people, if they aren’t having difficult symptoms, need active surveillance, which involves regular check-ups to monitor changes in the tumor.


In many cases, the Urology Surgery Center Northwest recommends ablation. This minimally invasive procedure destroys the tumor with cold or heat. Another possibility is surgery to remove the tumor or the entire kidney.


The experienced surgeons often use the state-of-the-art da Vinci® robotic surgical system to do partial and complete nephrectomies (removing part or all of the affected kidney). Even if you lose a kidney, you can live a healthy life with the remaining kidney.


The Urology Surgery Center Northwest offers easy access to state-of-the-art outpatient kidney treatments. Call the office today or click the online scheduler to make your appointment.