Donate to Kidney Cancer Research, Patient Care and Education

According to the American Cancer Society, nearly 75,000 adults, at an average age of 64, will be diagnosed with kidney cancer in 2019. Nearly 20 percent of those diagnosed with kidney cancer will not survive. And yet, the scientists and physicians at Northwestern Medicine are determined to reduce those numbers and to provide every person affected by kidney cancer with the most positive outcome possible.

With the support of donations to Northwestern Memorial Foundation from generous people like you, Northwestern Medicine’s specialists in kidney cancer continue to gain new insights into risk factors for, as well as early-stage symptoms of, kidney cancer. They are continually developing new and promising treatments and are committed to finding a cure for kidney cancer. 

The kidney is designed to filter the blood for electrolytes and urinary waste to make urine. The vast majority of kidney tumors are detected early, when they are small and easily curable. Often referred to as a “silent” cancer, early-stage kidney cancer does not have clear, identifiable symptoms. Most early-stage cases are identified through imaging from CAT scans and MRIs performed for other reasons. As kidney tumors grow, however, patients do begin to experience symptoms, such as back or abdominal pain, blood in the urine, weight loss, weakness and coughing or shortness of breath.

While the exact cause of kidney cancer has not been identified, urologists and oncologists at Northwestern Medicine have identified certain factors that may put some individuals at a higher risk. Smoking, diabetes and obesity appear to be potential risk factors for kidney disease. Scientists also have discovered a strong link between kidney cancer and genetics; early detection of kidney cancer can be linked to some inherited conditions. Given this knowledge, patients at Northwestern Medicine are offered genetic testing.

To determine whether a person has kidney cancer, physicians at Northwestern Medicine use a number of diagnostic methods, including imaging and urine testing for blood in the urine, imaging that identifies solid or complex masses, biopsies of renal masses and removal of suspicious masses by nephrectomy (the surgical removal of a kidney). If a person is diagnosed with kidney cancer, our multidisciplinary team of urologists, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists and other specialists work together to address the needs of the whole patient and to create individualized treatment plans. Different treatment plans for kidney cancer may include a variety of surgeries to remove tumors on the kidney or to remove an entire kidney, chemotherapy,  immunotherapy and, potentially, the patient’s participation in clinical trials. 

Your Kidney Cancer Research, Patient Care and Education Donation

By making a donation to Northwestern Memorial Foundation in support of kidney cancer-related care and research, you will help to ensure that Northwestern Medicine’s scientists and physicians will continue to discover and implement leading-edge methods of detecting and diagnosing kidney cancer. Your support will facilitate important progress that will have a powerful and positive effect on the lives of many patients and families affected by kidney cancer.

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