Miami Cancer Institute's kidney cancer specialists combine medical expertise and compassionate care to provide the best treatment options for our patients. Our kidney cancer specialists have access to the latest advancements to diagnose and treat your specific cancer, allowing them to create a personalized treatment plan that helps address your individual needs.

Our multidisciplinary team consists of internationally renowned kidney cancer physicians who provide advanced whole-patient care. Each individualized care plan includes innovative treatments and services, including nutritional advice, physical therapy and pain management, to address your entire journey as a patient. Not only do we focus on the treatment that is right for your type of kidney cancer, we focus on the treatment that is right for you as an individual.

What is kidney cancer?

Kidney cancer is a disease in which malignant, or cancerous, cells are found in the tissue of the kidney. You have two kidneys in your upper abdomen, each one on either side of the spine. The kidneys filter blood and turn the waste into urine.

Medical illustration of the kidneys.

What are the types of kidney cancer?

The most common type of kidney cancer is renal cell cancer. Renal cell cancer is a disease in which cancer cells form in the lining of the kidney’s tubules. These tiny tubes filter and clean blood that passes through the kidney.

Urothelial cancer is another form of kidney cancer. This is a disease in which cancer cells form in the renal pelvis and the ureter.

The renal pelvis is the top of the ureter – a tube that connects the kidney to the bladder. When the kidney filters blood, the waste transforms into urine and collects in the renal pelvis before passing through the ureter and into the bladder.

What are the risk factors for kidney cancer?

Smoking is the key risk factor for kidney cancer. Other risk factors include:

  • Misusing certain pain medicines for a long period of time.
  • Being overweight.
  • Being exposed to certain chemicals, such as asbestos or cadmium.
  • Having high blood pressure.
  • Having a family history of kidney cancer.
  • Having advanced kidney disease or long-term kidney dialysis.
  • Having certain genetic (inherited) conditions, including von Hippel-Lindau disease or hereditary papillary renal cell carcinoma.
  • 81,400

    New cases of bladder cancer in 2020
  • 10

    Kidney cancer is among the 10 most common cancers in both men and women

What can you do to prevent kidney cancer?

There is no guaranteed way to prevent cancer. However, you can reduce your risk for kidney cancer by:

  • Not using tobacco. Speak with your doctor if you need help quitting.
  • Exercising regularly.
  • Eating a healthy diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and low-fat dairy. Talk with your doctor or a nutritionist about what you should include in a healthy diet.
  • Keeping a healthy weight. Ask your doctor what a healthy weight is for you.
  • Asking your doctor about genetic testing and screening recommendations if you have an inherited disease that increases your risk for kidney cancer.

Is kidney cancer screening available?

Typical wellness visits with your doctor do not include screening for kidney cancer. However, if you have a genetic (inherited) disease that may increase your risk for kidney cancer, your doctor may recommend certain tests to check regularly for kidney cancer.

Have questions?

We're here to help answer any questions you or your family may have.

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