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  • Sponsored Q&A

    What you need to know about kidney tumours

    Dr Gordon O’Neill is a Urological Cancer Surgeon at the St Vincent’s Campus in Darlinghurst and specialises in Robotic prostate and kidney surgery.

    Listen to Dr Gordon O'Neill's Talking Lifestyle interview with Ed Phillips on the topic of kidney tumours below.
    • 1 answer
    • Dr Gordon O'Neill
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  • What are kidney tumours?
    Kidney tumours are abnormal growths arising from the kidney and are either benign or malignant.

    How common are kidney tumours?
    Benign tumours are quite rare. Most are cancerous arising from the meat of the kidney (renal cell cancer) or from the lining of the collecting system (transitional cell cancer) which may also affect the bladder.
    Kidney cancer is in the top 10 cancers for men and women and are about 5-10% of all cancers.

    What causes kidney tumours?
    • Poorly understood, but may run in families.
    • Smoking and genetic disorders

    What are the symptoms of kidney tumours?
    Classically a triad of:
    • Blood in the urine
    • Mass in the flank
    • Loin pain

    It is rare to see this now. Most tumours are found incidentally during investigations of other problems. They are seen on ultrasound, CT scan and MRI.

    What treatments are available?
    Mainly surgical. Ideally, remove the kidney (total nephrectomy) or just the tumour (partial nephrectomy) before it spreads.
    Keyhole surgery (laparoscopic) or robotic partial nephrectomy is less difficult and safer.
    Drugs are used to keep cancer under control if it has spread

    Are there any risks involved with treatment?
    • Anaesthetic.
    • Usually, require big operations, so the patient needs to be fit for surgery.
    • Large blood loss and damage to nearby organs is rare.

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