Healthy kidneys work to clean the blood by bringing ‘dirty’ blood into the kidney via the renal artery and with clean blood being taken back to the heart via the renal vein. As such they are the bodies main filtration system extracting water and waste in the form of urine which is then moved via the ureters to the bladder to be stored before being eventually expelled via the urethra.
Kidney (renal) tumours can be benign or malignant though kidney cancer is one of the more prevalent cancers occurring annually in the UK. 1 in 50 of us will develop renal cancer in their lifetime with it accounting for 4% of cancer diagnoses in men, being the 6th most common cancer. Over 12,000 people are diagnosed with it each year. However, with modern screening techniques, it is possible to detect these cancers at an early stage before they cause symptoms. If caught early, the chances of cure are much higher and often involves relatively straightforward keyhole surgery which preserves the function of the remaining normal kidney.
Other treatment options for small tumours include cryotherapy, high-intensity focused ultrasound or radio-frequency ablation.