Kidney Cancer

Lauren Berman: Dr. Figlin thanks so much for joining us. So tell us what is renal cell carcinoma?

Dr. Figlin: Kidney cancer or renal cell carcinoma is a mass in the kidney that grows over time, months to years and then has a risk to spreading to other regions that if not controlled by surgery requires systemic therapy.

Lauren Berman:  What type of person is most at risk for this?

Dr. Figlin: So kidney cancer occurs mostly frequently  in people in the fifth or sixth decade of their lives. It can occur in people in their 20s as well as their 90s. Most kidney cancers are sporadic meaning we don't know the cause although their are some predispositions such as smoking, obesity, exposure to chemicals, and genetics but again most patients we don't know the cause of kidney cancer.

Lauren Berman: Can you tell us how we can diagnose  it or how we can catch kidney cancer?

Dr. Figlin: It is often found accidentally on imaging, CAT scans, MRIs, X-rays, or physical examination. There is no blood test or urine test and it usually present being found when looking for something else.

Lauren Berman: That is some scary stuff. Just one final question. Where can we go for more information on this?

Dr. Figlin: You can go to three sites. Nationalcancerinstitute.gov is a place where you can find out about clinical trials. Americansocietyclincicaloncology.org is a place with information about kidney cancer. And obviously in Philadelphia at your local cancer centers.

Lauren Berman: Dr. Figlin, very important information there. Thank you so much for joining us.

Dr. Figlin: Thank you for having me.