Kidney Cancer  Treatment in Lubbock, TX

The board-certified urologists at Covenant Health Urology Group provide kidney cancer consultations and procedures at our office in Lubbock, Texas. Learn about kidneys and kidney procedures and call us at (806) 725-8787 to schedule your appointment today.

What is the purpose of the Kidney?

Kidneys are bean-shaped structures that are located either under the liver or under the spleen. They help to detoxify your blood, balance fluids, maintain electrolyte levels, remove waste, and make hormones that help keep your blood pressure regular and make red blood cells.


What is a Kidney tumor?

A kidney tumor or renal mass is an abnormal growth on the kidney. Some of these growths are non-cancerous while some of the growths contain cancer. Smaller kidney masses that are less than 3 centimeters are more likely to be benign. While kidney masses that are larger than 3 centimeters are more likely to have cancer. Kidney tumors may grow quickly, or they may grow over several years. Most kidney tumors are found incidentally when a person goes to the hospital or ER. For example, if somebody has abdominal pain they may have a CT scan that shows a renal mass.

What are symptoms of kidney cancer?

Unfortunately, most kidney cancers do not cause symptoms. This makes them more difficult to detect at a smaller stage. Some symptoms may include blood in the urine, pain under the ribs, low back pain on one side, loss of appetite, weight loss that is not desired, fever and anemia.

What causes kidney cancer?

Some kidney cancers grow as a result of a genetic defect. Some kidney cancer is hereditary. Other factors that may increase a person’s chance of having kidney cancer include:

  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • High blood pressure
  • End stage renal disease
  • Workplace exposure to different chemicals

How is kidney cancer diagnosed?

More than 50% of renal masses are found incidentally. There are no laboratory tests that will detect kidney cancer. Most are found on ultrasound, CT scan or MRI. Typically, these images are ordered for other reasons. Once a kidney mass is identified your doctor will perform a physical exam, routine lab work and a urinalysis to check for blood in the urine. Often, a secondary image such as a CT scan or MRI will be ordered to complete the staging evaluation. It is very rare for a kidney biopsy to be performed.

What are the treatment options for kidney cancer?

The goals of treating kidney cancer include removing the cancer from your body while preserving renal function. Once the kidney cancer is fully staged, your doctor will offer you options for treatment. These options include active surveillance, ablation, or surgery. Active surveillance may be utilized for patients who have kidney tumors that are under 3 centimeters. This may include periodic lab work and imaging to monitor growth of the kidney tumor. Ablation options may include freezing of the tumor or burning of the tumor. These are called cryoablation and radiofrequency ablation, respectively. In most cases, your doctor will recommend surgery. Depending on the tumor size and location within the kidney your doctor will offer a partial nephrectomy versus a radical nephrectomy. A partial nephrectomy is removal of the renal mass only. A radical nephrectomy is removal of the entire kidney and the surrounding tissue.

What is a robotic assisted partial nephrectomy?


What to expect after surgical treatment?

Patients who have surgery will likely have some abdominal and flank pain for several weeks. Your surgeon will likely recommend for you to rest during that time period. Depending on your work activity he may be released at two weeks or as long as eight weeks. It is common to have some blood in the urine. Most patients will experience fatigue for several weeks following surgical therapy. Pathology results will also need to be discussed with the surgeon. In some cases further treatment is required. This may include immunotherapy or chemotherapy. Radiation is rarely required after kidney cancer.

Schedule a Consultation

If you would like to talk to a urologist at Covenant Urology Group about kidney treatment, please give us a call at (806) 725-8787.