Kidney Cancer

At Rush, you'll be cared for by experts who specialize in kidney cancer and provide the most advanced treatment for the best outcomes and quality of life.

At Rush, you'll be cared for by experts who specialize in kidney cancer and provide the most advanced treatment for the best outcomes and quality of life.

At Rush, you'll be cared for by experts who specialize in kidney cancer and provide the most advanced treatment for the best outcomes and quality of life.

Kidney cancer, also called renal cell cancer, is a cancerous tumor that develops in your kidneys.

Signs You Should Get Help for Kidney Cancer

Talk to your primary care physician if you have any of these symptoms:

  • Blood in your urine
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lump in your abdomen
  • Pain in your side that does not go away
  • Weight loss, for no known reason

These symptoms could be caused by other conditions, but it's important to see your doctor right away so the cause can be found and appropriately treated.

Kidney Cancer Treatment at Rush

At Rush, our goal is to work with you to diagnose, treat and care for your kidney cancer every step of the way. We will offer you the most effective treatments to address the cancer while maintaining your quality of life as much as possible.

We offer both surgical and nonsurgical options of care.

Surgical Treatment

  • Minimally invasive surgeries: Most kidney cancer treatments start with minimally invasive and robotic surgeries to remove part or all of your affected kidney.
  • Partial nephrectomy: A minimally invasive kidney-sparing surgery that removes the diseased part of the kidney, while maintaining the healthy kidney tissue.
  • Nephrectomy: This is a surgery to remove the affected kidney.
  • Radical nephrectomy: Removes the kidney, adrenal gland, surrounding tissue and nearby lymph nodes.

Nonsurgical Treatments

  • Ablation: When surgery isn’t an option, an ablation procedure can shrink a tumor in the kidneys.
  • Radiation therapy: Rush radiologists use imaging to pinpoint the tumor and destroy the remaining cancer cells after surgery.
  • Targeted therapy: This therapy stabilizes the tumor and stops it from growing. It does not eliminate the tumor, but it allows you to have a good quality of life for a long time, despite the cancer.
  • Biologic therapy: This approach uses your own immune system to stop the growth of metastatic cancer that has spread to other organs. This allows you to live a longer life with cancer.
  • Innovative techniques: You have access to immunotherapy, the NanoKnife, new drugs and clinical trials.
  • Comprehensive care for the whole person: We are committed to supporting you — physically, emotionally, spiritually and in any way we can. We also offer supportive oncology care, including acupuncture, massage and yoga.

Rush Excellence in Kidney Cancer Care

  • Nationally ranked experts focused on you: Our cancer specialists are ranked among the best in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, and our urology program is recognized as a high performing program.
  • Breakthrough treatments: Rush was one of the first health systems in the nation to treat kidney cancer with combination immunotherapy that boosts the body’s own immune system to fight cancer and offers a better chance at a longer life. Through these innovative therapies, survival rates have risen to five years or more from what used to be a year or less. Rush also is one of few Chicago-area hospitals to use the NanoKnife, which works by attacking hard-to-reach tumors with bursts of electricity.
  • Leading research studies: At Rush, you will benefit from our wide range of clinical trials and research, including the latest advancements to improve survival rates and quality of life.