Kidney Cancer FAQs

Radiation Therapy in Payson & Scottsdale, AZ


A cancer diagnosis can be devastating – but experience has shown us time and again that no matter how serious things look, there’s always hope. As a leading cancer treatment provider serving the greater Phoenix, AZ area, Palo Verde Cancer Specialists proudly offers some of the most advanced radiation therapy treatments on the market all under one roof. We operate six cutting-edge cancer centers in Glendale, Payson, Scottsdale, and greater Phoenix, and we strive to be a comprehensive resource in the treatment process – and that include providing answers to
any questions you may have.


Common Questions About Kidney Cancer


What is kidney cancer?

Kidney cancer refers to any cancerous growth that forms in the cells of the kidneys, a pair of small, fist-sized organs on either side of the spine that help filter toxins from the blood. The most common form of kidney cancer is renal cell carcinoma (RCC), accounting for about 90% of cases. Other forms include transitional cell carcinoma, Wilms tumors, and rarer forms.

What causes kidney cancer?

Kidney cancer has a number of risk factors, which are variables that increase the likelihood of an individual developing kidney cancer over the course of their life. The risk factors for kidney cancer include:

  • Family history of kidney cancer
  • Smoking
  • Exposure to some chemicals, including benzene, cadmium, and asbestos
  • Von Hippel-Lindau syndrome, a condition that causes cysts to form in the kidneys, pancreas, and genitals
  • Obesity

Does kidney cancer produce symptoms?

As with many forms of cancer, kidney cancer often won’t produce symptoms until a fairly advanced stage, which makes it difficult to detect and treat. However, if symptoms do appear, they can include any of the following:

  • An unusual lump on the lower back or the side
  • General fatigue or tiredness
  • Sudden, unexplained weight loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fever
  • High blood pressure
  • Blood in the urine
  • Pain near the kidneys

What are the treatments for kidney cancer?

Treatments for kidney cancer vary greatly depending on the specifics of the condition and how far the cancer has progressed. Because it’s possible to live normally with just one kidney, surgery is a common treatment for kidney cancer. Your doctor may elect to remove a part of the kidney or the entire kidney. Other treatments include radiation therapy treatments, as well as full-body treatments like chemotherapy or targeted therapy.

Can I live with just one kidney?

Generally speaking, yes. Most people can live normally with a single kidney, and while you’ll need to be careful about certain things, having a kidney remove usually has a minimal impact on quality of life. If you do have a kidney removed, it’s important to take good care of your remaining kidney and talk to your doctor if you’re starting a medication, have a bladder infection, or experience anything that might signal a change in kidney health.


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Kidney cancer is common in both men and women, and if you or someone you love has recently been diagnosed, we can help. Schedule a consultation today to learn more about the treatments we offer and start the road to recovery. We can’t wait to hear from you, and we’re excited to help you beat cancer and get back to your normal, healthy life.

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