Your kidneys are two bean-shaped organs, each about the size of your fist. They're located behind your abdominal organs, one on each side of your spine. Like other major organs in the body, the kidneys can sometimes develop cancer. Your kidneys are part of the urinary system, which removes waste and excess fluid and electrolytes from your blood, controls the production of red blood cells, and regulates your blood pressure. Inside each kidney are more than a million small filtering units called nephrons. As blood circulates through your kidneys, the nephrons filter out waste products as well as unneeded minerals and water. This liquid waste — urine — flows through two narrow tubes (ureters) into your bladder, where it's …show more content…
In selected cases, your doctor may recommend a procedure to remove a small sample of cells (biopsy) from a suspicious area of your kidney. During a biopsy, a surgeon uses ultrasound or CT images to guide a long, thin needle into your kidney to remove the cells. The cells are then examined under a microscope to determine whether they are cancer.
Biopsy procedures have risks, such as infection, bleeding and a very small chance that cancer could spread to the area where the needle is inserted. Because surgery is usually the first line treatment for kidney cancer, your doctor may forgo biopsy if he or she believes your tumor is very likely to be cancerous. That way you avoid the additional risks of a biopsy. Kidney biopsy is typically reserved for cases that are most likely to be noncancerous or for people who can't undergo an operation.
Additional tests for transitional cell cancer
Tests and procedures used to diagnose transitional cell kidney cancer may include: * X-ray imaging of your urinary system (excretory urogram). X-rays of your urinary system may show signs of cancer. Your health care team will inject a dye into a vein in your arm. The dye is processed by your kidneys and your urinary system, and the dye makes it possible to see your urinary system on an X-ray. * Looking inside your bladder (cystoscopy). Your doctor may use a long, narrow tube called a cystoscope to see the inside of your bladder. The cystoscope, which