Kidney Cancer Treatment: Meet Our Specialists

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Finding where to get kidney cancer treatment may seem difficult. How do you know the best place to go? At UVA Health, many people come to us for a second opinion.

We strive to offer care that supports you as a whole person. And we offer expertise that will give you and your family comfort and hope.

Why Kidney Cancer Treatment at UVA Health

At UVA Health, our kidney cancer specialists have expertise in the full range of treatments. With us, you'll have options. You'll find the latest technologies. And we have experience with combining treatments to maximize their effect.

We have vast experience in:

  • Ablative technology
  • Robotic or open surgery to remove the kidney, part of the kidney, or the tumor
  • Radiation 
  • Chemotherapy
  • Immunotherapy
  • Targeted therapy
  • Medication

If surgery is necessary, our kidney surgeons will do all they can to save your kidney. This makes your recovery fairly quick. Most patients stay in the hospital for 1 or 2 days. 

UVA Health Expertise

People travel far for our cancer expertise. We're proud to be named Virginia's first Comprehensive Cancer Cancer. This designation comes from the National Cancer Institute. It puts us among the nation's top cancer centers. It means we are leaders in improving cancer care.

Kidney Cancer Types

Kidney cancer is any abnormal growth or tumor in the normal kidney tissue. There are 2 main types of kidney cancer. Wilms' tumor occurs in children. Renal cell carcinoma effects adults. The cancer cells start either in the lining of your ureter or in connective tissue. 

In early stages, kidney cancer shows no signs. But once it gets big, it can lead to:

  • Blood in the urine
  • Lower back pain or new pain elsewhere

Genetic abnormalities, cigarette smoking, and certain chemicals can predispose people to developing kidney cancer.

Kidney Cancer Treatment

Urologic oncologist Christine Ibilibor, MD, explains kidney cancer, its symptoms, and the treatments offered at UVA Health. View kidney cancer transcript.

Is it Kidney Cancer?


We may perform blood and urine tests. You may also need imaging exams like:

  • Bone scan
  • Chest X-rays
  • IV pyelogram
  • Renal angiography
  • CT scan
  • MRI scan
  • Renal ultrasound
  • Laparoscopy
  • Cystoscopy

Conditions That Put You at Risk

No one can predict if you'll get kidney cancer or not. But these factors increase your risk: 

  • Smoking
  • Family history of certain hereditary forms of kidney cancer
  • Age: 50 years or older
  • Sex: male
  • Certain occupational exposures such as asbestos and aniline
  • Tanning products
  • Exposure to some toxins, such as astrolachia, an herb common in some Chinese herbal preparations
  • Balkan nephritis
  • Chronic renal stones
  • Phenacetin abuse
  • Tuberous sclerosis
  • Dialysis treatment
  • Von Hippel Lindau syndrome

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