Kidney Cancer

Kidney cancer is one of the most common urological cancers. At the European Institute of Oncology, a specialised team operates in the diagnosis and treatment of kidney cancer that guarantees comprehensive, all-round patient management by integrating medical and nursing competencies and placing the patient at the centre of the therapeutic process with an active role at each step.

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Kidney cancer accounts for approximately 3% of all cancers, with a higher incidence in industrialised countries. There are different types of kidney cancer, each with specific histopathological and genetic characteristics. The most commonly encountered is the clear cell variant.


At the IEO kidney cancer is treated by a multidisciplinary team consisting of specialists in:


The causes of kidney cancer are unknown, but some potential risk factors that can promote its onset can be identified:

  • Cigarette smoking. The number of cigarettes smoked per day and the number of years of exposure are directly proportional to the increase in the risk of kidney cancer.
  • Chronic exposure to certain metals and particular substances. Asbestos and cadmium, phenacetin and thorotrast are all suspected of possessing carcinogenic action can increase the risk of kidney cancer.
  • Family History of kidney cancer
  • Obesity
  • Hypertension


Kidney cancer symptoms. 

Kidney cancer symptoms do not often cause early signs and the majority of renal neoplasms have an accidental finding during radiological investigations.

Kidney cancer symptoms such as the appearance of blood in the urine if it is not associated with the presence of urinary infection or recurrent urinary infection, should lead to investigations such as abdominal ultrasound. Other kidney cancer symptoms are excessive fatigue, unjustified weight loss, low-grade night fever with no other viable reason, palpable masses in the abdomen and persistent soreness on the side of the body.

An ultrasound can identify the kidney cancer while computed tomography (CT) in addition to distinguishing the nature of the mass provides more information on the extension of the kidney cancer. Other diagnostic tests are magnetic resonance and urography, which evaluates the urinary tract and the smooth passage of urine. This test is the most relevant in case of blood in the urine, as a possible kidney cancer symptom and it is mainly used to assess the presence of kidney cancer in the urinary tract, urethra, bladder, ureters, and renal pelvis.


Kidney cancers 

Surgery is the gold standard of treatment for kidney cancer. Once, radical nephrectomy, which is the complete removal of the kidney cancer, was the more widespread intervention. At present, however, when kidney cancer size permits, conservative surgery that removes only the tumour mass and preserves healthy tissue is the treatment of choice. In recent years, robotic surgery has started to gradually replace traditional open surgery of kidney cancers, because of increasing development in minimally-invasive procedures. For patients eligible for robotic treatment, the IEO Urologic Surgery Division offers robotic surgery for kidney cancer. This achieves excellent results, reduced intra and perioperative morbidity with little impact on quality of life and faster recovery time. Advanced kidney cancer forms are eligible for systemic treatment with "target" drugs instead of chemotherapy, which hit specific targets responsible for the control of cell proliferation and programmed death of kidney cancer.



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