More than 50,000 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with kidney cancer each year. Risks factors for developing this type of cancer include environmental exposures, such as smoking, high blood pressure, a history of kidney failure, obesity or not having a healthy weight.
Dr. Thai Ho, a Mayo Clinic oncologist who specializes in genitourinary malignancies, says there are no screening tests specifically for kidney cancer. When it is discovered early, it’s usually from an imaging test for another issue.
If the cancer has spread beyond the kidneys, Dr. Ho says, “We usually use the patient’s own immune system to fight the cancer, which is very different from other types of tumors.”
Kidney cancer is different because it does not respond to chemotherapy.