What is Kidney Cancer?
A kidney tumor (mass or lesion) is an abnormal growth within the kidney. Tumors may be benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous). Tumors can be present as:
- Cyst: a fluid-filled area and is the most common type of kidney tumor. Simple cysts are benign, have a typical appearance on imaging and do not progress to cancer. They do not require follow-up or treatment. Complex cysts have increased chances of being cancerous as they become more complex.
- Solid kidney tumors that enhance on CT scan after administration of IV contrast can be benign, but >80% are cancerous.
Kidney cancer among adults consists of malignant tumors arising from the renal parenchyma and renal pelvis. Renal parenchymal cancer is the predominant kidney cancer, mainly of the adenocarcinoma cell type (renal cell cancer). Renal pelvis cancers are mostly of the transitional cell type, same type as most bladder cancers.
Kidney cancer accounts for approximately 2% of all cancers worldwide. The American Cancer Society’s most recent estimates for kidney cancer in the United States for 2013 are about 65,150 new cases of kidney cancer and 13,680 deaths due to kidney cancer. These statistics include both renal cell cancers and cancers of the renal pelvis. In New York City, more than 1726 new cases of kidney cancer are diagnosed each year including 530 cancers in Brooklyn, 335 cancers in Manhattan and 470 renal cancers in Queens. In Long Island, more than 1590 are diagnosed. Overall more than 4837 kidney cancers are diagnosed in New York metro area. Over 1000 people die of kidney cancer in the New York metro area alone.
Kidney cancer is among the 10 most common cancers in both men and women. Most people with this cancer are older. The average age of people when they are diagnosed is 64. Kidney cancer is very uncommon in people younger than age 45, and it most often occurs in people 55 and older. Overall, the lifetime risk for developing kidney cancer is about 1.6%.
One of the top specialists in New York City, our fellowship-trained surgeon-urologist, Dr. Shteynshlyuger, specializes in the treatment of kidney cancer. All modern treatment options including robotic, laparoscopic and open surgery are available as well as cryoablation and chemotherapy treatment for metastatic disease.
Dr. Alex Shteynshlyuger is a board-certified urologist in NYC. He specializes in the treatment of men and women with kidney cysts, masses, renal cancer and angiomyolipoma (AML).