Dr. G.Thirumalai Ganesan

MS, M.Ch, FRCS(Glasg), FRCS (Urol)(UK)

Sunway Medical Centre,
No. 37/39, AH Block, Shanthi Colony Main Road,
Anna Nagar, Chennai-40
Tel: +91-44-7092484166,
Email: endouro@gmail.com

Kidney Cancer

Kidney cancer is a malignant tumor of the kidneys, two large bean-shaped organs located in the mid-back, just below the rib cage. The main job of the kidneys is to filter waste products from the blood and remove liquid waste, in the form of urine, from the body.


Kidney cancer accounts for about three percent of all adult cancer. The most common form of the disease is renal cell carcinoma. Kidney cancer typically affects people between the ages of 50 and 70, men twice as often as women. Smoking doubles the risk of kidney cancer. Workplace exposure to cadmium or asbestos may increase the risk of developing the disease. People with the rare genetic diseases of tuberous sclerosis or von Hippel-Lindau syndrome, or who have been on kidney dialysis for a long time, are also at increased risk. Some studies suggest a link between kidney cancer and being overweight and eating a high-fat diet.


Blood in the urine is the most common sign of kidney cancer. Other symptoms may include unexplained pain in the side or lower back, unexplained sudden weight loss or fever, a lump or mass on the belly, persistent tiredness, and swelling of the ankles or legs. Many of these symptoms can also be caused by other, less serious conditions. Therefore, getting a correct diagnosis is very important.

Treatment Options

When kidney cancer is found and treated early, the chances for survival are very good. Surgery to remove all or part of the kidney is the main treatment and offers the highest chance of a cure. Smaller kidney tumours can very often be removed in a procedure called a partial nephrectomy, in which the surgeon removes only the cancerous part of the kidney and leaves the rest of the kidney in place. When the cancer is aggressive or involves a large part of the kidney, a radical nephrectomy may be required. In this procedure, the entire kidney is removed, as well as the adrenal gland, which sits atop the kidney, nearby fatty tissue, and lymph nodes.

The Institute of Urology has got a specialist who has particular expertise in partial nephrectomy and laparoscopic surgery (Laparoscopic nephrectomy), a minimally invasive technique that is quickly becoming the standard of care for small renal cell cancers. The surgery is performed through small incisions and guided by a tiny video camera. Compared to open surgery, patients who undergo laparoscopic surgery experience significantly less blood loss and pain, and have shorter hospital stays and faster recovery times.