Kidney cancer treatment in Denver

At HealthONE, we offer access to oncology specialists who are trained to accurately diagnose and treat kidney cancer. If cancer is detected, we offer a wide range of treatments, including radiation therapy and radical nephrectomy, to provide patients with advanced options for healing.

For more information about cancer diagnosis, treatment and other services, call askSARAH at (303) 253-3225.

Multidisciplinary cancer care team

Our multidisciplinary team collaborates to ensure you receive high-quality cancer care and nephrology care. By bringing multiple specialists together, our team can provide an accurate diagnosis and recommend the most effective treatment plan possible.

Team members include:

  • General surgeons
  • Hepatologists
  • Interventional radiologists
  • Medical and radiation oncologists
  • Nephrologists

Symptoms of kidney cancer

Our oncology specialists use advanced diagnostic tools as well as their expertise in recognizing warning signs and symptoms to ensure early detection and treatment of kidney cancer.

Kidney cancer may not present many symptoms in the early stages. Larger or more developed kidney cancers, however, may present the following symptoms:

  • A mass or lump in the side of the body or lower back
  • Anemia
  • Blood in the urine
  • Fatigue
  • Intermittent fever (not due to illness)
  • Lower back pain
  • Loss of appetite or weight loss
  • Swelling in the legs or ankles
  • Unrelieved pain in the low back or on one side

Diagnosing kidney cancer

We use several different methods to reach a kidney cancer diagnosis, including diagnostic imaging tests and minimally invasive exams.

These can include:

  • Blood tests
  • Computed tomography (CT) scan
  • Laparoscopy
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan
  • Positron emission tomography (PET) scan
  • Renal angiogram
  • Ultrasound

Renal biopsy

A renal biopsy is a medical procedure used to extract pieces of kidney tissue for laboratory analysis. The analysis provides your doctor with information needed to diagnose, monitor and treat conditions of the kidney. There are two ways to perform a renal biopsy, including:

Percutaneous biopsy (renal needle)—The most common type of renal biopsy, this procedure involves the insertion of a needle through the skin to remove kidney tissue. An ultrasound or CT scan may be used to direct the needle to a specific area of the kidney.

Open biopsy—During an open biopsy, your doctor makes a cut in your skin near the kidneys. This allows the physician to view the kidneys and determine which samples of tissue should be taken.


A renogram is an exam that uses a radioactive substance to examine your kidneys and their function. We offer two types of renograms, each using a different tracing agent. These include:

Captopril renal scan—The purpose of this exam is to look for renal artery stenosis (for patients with high blood pressure), obstruction or trauma. During this procedure, a radiotracer is injected into your veins and a diuretic is administered to flush out the kidneys.

Dimercaptosuccinic acid (DMSA) scan—This exam evaluates the size, shape and function of the kidneys and detects scarring caused by frequent infections. Similar to the captopril exam, a radiotracer is injected in your veins. After, a camera takes pictures of the kidneys for your physician to review.

Kidney cancer treatment

Our doctors use advanced treatments, including surgical procedures, to treat complex tumors and provide the best possible outcomes for our patients.

These include:

Radical nephrectomy

If a cancerous tumor is found in the kidney, it may be necessary to completely remove the kidney to prevent the spread of cancer. Our surgeons specialize in using robotic technology to perform radical nephrectomy.

A radical nephrectomy is a surgical procedure that involves the complete removal of the kidney. When a tumor grows in the kidney, doctors may be able to just remove the cancerous tissue and preserve the remaining kidney. This is known as a partial nephrectomy.

A robot-assisted radical nephrectomy is a newer, more advanced surgical procedure for kidney removal. Using robotic technology, a surgeon makes smaller, more precise incisions in the surgical area. Most patients are able to resume their normal activities the day after surgery.

Sarah Cannon - The Cancer Institute of HCA Healthcare

About Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute

As part of Sarah Cannon, the Cancer Institute of HCA Healthcare, our family of hospitals provides comprehensive cancer services with convenient access to cutting-edge therapies for people facing cancer in our communities. From diagnosis to treatment and survivorship care, our oncology expertise ensures you have access to locally trusted care with the support of a globally recognized network.

askSARAH helpline

Have cancer questions? We can help. askSARAH is a dedicated helpline for your cancer-related questions. Our specially trained nurses are available 24/7, and all calls are confidential. Contact askSARAH at (303) 253-3225.