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Renal Cell Carcinoma

What is Renal Cell Carcinoma?

Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is a type of kidney cancer that begins in the functional tissue of the kidney. It’s the most common type of kidney cancer, and the incidence is increasing. Fortunately, kidney cancer is often found early when it’s most treatable and the outlook is typically very good – in fact, the five-year survival rate for stage I kidney cancer is about 90%. However, as with any cancer, kidney cancer that has spread to other areas can significantly increase mortality. For this reason, it’s important to seek out expert care as soon as possible.

Symptoms and Risk Factors

RCC doesn’t typically produce symptoms in its early stages. If you do begin to notice symptoms, it may be because the growth has begun to impact nearby organs and tissues. Symptoms of RCC can include:

  • Weight loss
  • Fever
  • Blood in the urine
  • Night sweats
  • A lump in the lower torso
  • Pain or discomfort in the flank

Because of the impact on kidney function, you may also experience symptoms of anemia with RCC. These may include fatigue and shortness of breath.

RCC is nearly twice as common in men as in women. Other risk factors for RCC include excess body weight, high blood pressure, smoking, and a family history of kidney cancer. Medical conditions like chronic kidney disease, HCV, or sickle cell disease can also increase your risk of RCC and other types of kidney cancer.

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How is Renal Cell Carcinoma Diagnosed?

Increasingly, RCC is being detected accidentally during other imaging procedures. Fortunately, in these very early stages, RCC is most treatable. If the cancer progresses to the stage where it produces symptoms, however, it’s often diagnosed with an ultrasound or CT scan. Biopsies aren’t often performed on their own for kidney cancer due to the potential for damaging kidney function. Once our team has accurate imaging and diagnosis, we’ll help you explore your options for treatment.

Renal Cell Carcinoma Treatment Options

Minimally invasive treatments are becoming the best option for early-stage RCC. This is often because traditional open surgery carries the risk of damaging kidney function. At South Florida Vascular Associates, we offer groundbreaking options such as percutaneous ablation (with or without transcatheter embolization) which works by inserting a small probe under the skin. This probe generates heat and kills the tumor, allowing a biopsy to be taken at the same time. This option is very safe and effective and can be performed as an outpatient procedure at our spa-like office. When performed by our knowledgeable interventional radiologists, it can provide a very good outcome.


William Julien, MD

Board-Certified Vascular Interventional Physician


Mana Khatkar, PA-C

Certified Physician Assistant


Anissa Rodriguez, NP-C

Certified Nurse Practitioner


Schedule a Consultation

At South Florida Vascular Associates, our interventional oncology team can help you learn more about the leading treatment options for renal cell carcinoma. We provide a comfortable and relaxing environment so you don’t need to worry about a hospital stay. To meet with our providers, fill out our online contact form or call us today. We conveniently serve the greater Southeast Florida area with locations in Coconut Creek, Boynton Beach, and Plantation, FL.