The Bryn Mawr Urology Group - A Division of Academic Urology | 919 Conestoga Road Rosemont, Pa 19010

+1 (610) 525-6580

Kidney Cancer Tumor Removal

Shape of kidney in doctor's hands

Kidney cancer is a serious condition that frequently requires surgical treatment.

In the past, the entire kidney had to be removed through a large open incision to treat even small kidney masses. Currently however, there are many surgical options available for treatment and most of them can be performed through tiny keyhole incisions (or laparoscopically) or even without making any incision at all (percutaneously). Furthermore, we now know that preserving normal functioning kidney while removing just the mass is of outmost importance because it preserves kidney function and decreases the long term risk of kidney dialysis and heart problems.

Frequently Asked Questions And Answers About Kidney Cancer by Expert Dr. Ilia Zeltser

At Bryn Mawr Urology we are pleased to offer the broadest array of minimally invasive treatment options for kidney cancer available in our area.

We have extensive expertise in both laparoscopic and percutaneous procedures to treat kidney cancer. In fact we are frequently able to remove the mass laparoscopically and preserve the kidney in patients with large and central kidney masses and even in those who were told elsewhere that their entire kidney has to come out.

Kidney cancer is a very serious condition and choosing the appropriate treatment is a serious decision. As with any serious decision, there is no substitute for discussing the case with an expert surgeon with extensive experience in treating kidney cancer. If you have been diagnosed with a kidney mass, please call our office for consultation. We are here to ensure that you get the best treatment possible.

Bladder Cancer

Different types of treatment are available for patients with bladder cancer.

Some treatments are standard (the currently used treatment), and some are being tested in clinical trials. Before starting treatment, patients may want to think about taking part in a clinical trial. A treatment clinical trial is a research study meant to help improve current treatments or obtain information on new treatments for patients with cancer. When clinical trials show that a new treatment is better than the standard treatment, the new treatment may become the standard treatment.

Four types of standard treatment are used:


One of the following types of surgery may be done:

  • Transurethral resection (TUR) with fulguration: Surgery in which a cystoscope (a thin lighted tube) is inserted into the bladder through the urethra. A tool with a small wire loop on the end is then used to remove the cancer or to burn the tumor away with high-energy electricity. This is known as fulguration.
  • Radical cystectomy: Surgery to remove the bladder and any lymph nodes and nearby organs that contain cancer. This surgery may be done when the bladder cancer invades the muscle wall, or when superficial cancer involves a large part of the bladder. In men, the nearby organs that are removed are the prostate and the seminal vesicles. In women, the uterus, the ovaries, and part of the vagina are removed. Sometimes, when the cancer has spread outside the bladder and cannot be completely removed, surgery to remove only the bladder may be done to reduce urinary symptoms caused by the cancer. When the bladder must be removed, the surgeon creates another way for urine to leave the body.
  • Segmental cystectomy: Surgery to remove part of the bladder. This surgery may be done for patients who have a low-grade tumor that has invaded the wall of the bladder but is limited to one area of the bladder. Because only a part of the bladder is removed, patients are able to urinate normally after recovering from this surgery.
  • Urinary diversion: Surgery to make a new way for the body to store and pass urine.

Even if the doctor removes all the cancer that can be seen at the time of the surgery, some patients may be given chemotherapy after surgery to kill any cancer cells that are left. Treatment given after surgery, to increase the chances of a cure, is called adjuvant therapy.

Radiation therapy

Radiation therapy is a cancer treatment that uses high-energy x-rays or other types of radiation to kill cancer cells or keep them from growing. There are two types of radiation therapy. External radiation therapy uses a machine outside the body to send radiation toward the cancer. Internal radiation therapy uses a radioactive substance sealed in needles, seeds, wires, or catheters that are placed directly into or near the cancer. The way the radiation therapy is given depends on the type and stage of the cancer being treated.


Chemotherapy is a cancer treatment that uses drugs to stop the growth of cancer cells, either by killing the cells or by stopping them from dividing. When chemotherapy is taken by mouth or injected into a vein or muscle, the drugs enter the bloodstream and can reach cancer cells throughout the body (systemic chemotherapy). When chemotherapy is placed directly into the spinal column, an organ, or a body cavity such as the abdomen, the drugs mainly affect cancer cells in those areas (regional chemotherapy). Bladder cancer may be treated with intravesical (into the bladder through a tube inserted into the urethra) chemotherapy. The way the chemotherapy is given depends on the type and stage of the cancer being treated.