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Cancers

Kidney Cancer

In adults, renal cell carcinoma is the most common form of kidney cancer. Symptoms of renal cell carcinoma may include abdominal/back pain or blood in the urine. However, the majority of kidney cancers are found incidentally on CT scan imaging.

Risk factors for developing kidney cancer include:

  • Smoking – Smokers have a greater risk of kidney cancer than nonsmokers do. The risk decreases after you quit.
  • Obesity – People who are obese have a higher risk of kidney cancer.
  • Family Medical History – People who have a family member with kidney cancer have a slightly higher risk for kidney cancer.

Diagnosis of kidney cancer includes CT imaging or MRI of the abdomen. Sometimes a biopsy of the tumor is obtained.

Treatment depends on the stage (size and location of the tumor). Small early-stage tumors are often managed with kidney preserving surgery. This means that the tumor is removed and the rest of the kidney is preserved. This can be done through an incision or using a laparoscopic surgical technique. In other cases, the tumor can be ablated or frozen using a needle to provide heat or cold to the tumor.

Larger tumors involve removal of the entire kidney through an incision or laparoscopic surgery.

Prostate Cancer

Other than skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in men. Symptoms of prostate cancer may include difficulty with urination or blood in the urine. However, the majority of prostate cancers are found by early detection through PSA screening. PSA is a blood test used to detect prostate cancer. When elevated, a prostate biopsy may be performed to diagnose prostate cancer. Risk factors for prostate cancer include older age and family history.

Treatment options for prostate cancer depend on the stage of cancer. Staging is usually completed with imaging studies such as CT scan or MRI and bone scan.

Treatment of early-stage less aggressive prostate cancer may include active surveillance or monitoring. These types of cancers are unlikely to spread and patients can avoid the side effects of aggressive therapy.

More aggressive prostate cancers are treated with surgery or radiation therapy. Surgery involves the removal of the prostate. This is most often done using a laparoscopic technique using the DaVinci Robotic system. Radiation therapy uses high energy rays to kill cancer cells in the prostate. Radiation can be given from a machine outside the prostate by placing dozens of radioactive seeds into the prostate with needles.

Cancers that have spread outside the prostate are treated with medicine. This may involve hormone injections, immunotherapy, or chemotherapy.

Bladder Cancer

Most patients with bladder cancer present complain of blood in the urine. The strongest risk factor for developing bladder cancer is smoking. This is followed by exposure to certain chemicals in the industrial workplace.

Bladder cancer is diagnosed with cystoscopy and biopsy. Most bladder cancers can be managed with the removal of the bladder tumor using a cystoscope. This way the bladder is preserved. Medicine is instilled into the bladder following surgery to prevent tumors from returning.

Larger bladder tumors may require more aggressive treatment. This may involve surgical removal of the bladder or radiation therapy to the bladder.

Testicular Cancer

Compared to other types of cancer, testicular cancer is rare. The most common age group for developing testicular cancer is between 15 and 35 years. Most patients with testicular cancer have a lump in the testicle. A known risk factor for testicular cancer is a past history of an undescended testicle.

Testicular cancers are typically managed by surgical removal of the testicles. In some patients, chemotherapy may be required. Cure rates are very high.

Adrenal Cancer

The adrenal glands sit on top of the kidneys in the upper part of the abdomen. These glands produce hormones to manage blood pressure, electrolytes, and stress. Rarely, cancers can form in the adrenal glands. These can present with hormonal imbalance. CT imaging of the abdomen confirms the presence of a tumor on the adrenal gland. Surgery is used to remove the adrenal gland from the body if cancer is suspected.