The physicians on the staff of Mount Sinai Urology Associates are fellowship-educated clinicians and researchers who are leaders in advancing emerging diagnostic techniques and treatments for kidney cancer. Our approach is multidisciplinary. We partner with our distinguished colleagues in the Department of Radiation Oncology, the Department of Medicine, and at Mount Sinai’s Tisch Cancer Institute to ensure we are providing comprehensive, personalized, and coordinated treatment.
A hallmark of Mount Sinai Urology Associates is that we encourage the active involvement of our patients. We spend time discussing the benefits and risks associated of each procedure and treatment option, and encourage our patients to become as knowledgeable as possible so that the conversation can be truly two-way.
Experts in Minimally Invasive Techniques
Surgery is a critical therapeutic avenue in the management of kidney cancer, as it may be curative in patients with early stage disease and may play an important diagnostic and therapeutic role for those with more advanced kidney cancer. We are trained in traditional open surgery, as well as minimally invasive laparoscopic and robotic surgery for kidney cancer. This combination of expertise makes us uniquely qualified to recommend the optimal approach for each patient, and our outcomes are among the best anywhere.
We have performed thousands of full and partial nephrectomies utilizing minimally invasive techniques, such as laparoscopic and robotic partial nephrectomy (kidney-sparring surgery to remove only the tumor), we can remove cancer while preserving healthy tissue and maintaining kidney function. Other advantages of robotic surgery include smaller incisions, quicker recovery, and less pain.
Dr. Michael Palese is the Director of Minimally Invasive Urology at Mount Sinai. The focus of his practice is kidney cancer and reconstructive surgery for kidney abnormalities in adults. He is one of only a handful of surgeons in the United States trained in robotic, laparoscopic, endoscopic, and open surgery, and a leading expert on the use of robotic surgery for kidney cancer. Dr. Palese established the robotic surgery program for kidney disease at Mount Sinai, and has performed more than 4,000 surgeries to treat the full spectrum of kidney disorders.
About Kidney Cancer
Kidney cancer, also called renal cancer, is a cancer that starts in the kidneys, the two bean-shaped organs located about midway down the back, on each side of the backbone. The kidneys perform the essential job of filtering excess water, salt, and waste to create urine and release important hormones. It is possible to live with only one kidney.
Not all kidney cancers are identical. Renal cell carcinoma (RCC), also known as renal cell cancer or renal cell adenocarcinoma, is the most common form of kidney cancer, responsible for more than three-quarters of all cases. Clear cell renal cell carcinoma is the most common form, or subtype, of RCC. Papillary RCC, also known as Type 1 papillary renal cell carcinoma, is the second most common form, with an increased incidence in African Americans for unknown reasons. Another type of kidney cancer is transitional cell carcinoma (TCC). It is a rare form of kidney cancer that can affect the kidney, ureter, and bladder and is treated with a nephroureterectomy (removal of the ureter and kidney). This can be performed via minimally invasive techniques such as laparoscopic and robotic surgery. Other forms of RCC include chromophobe and renal oncocytoma (benign kidney tumor). Different subtypes behave differently with respect to spread and response to treatment. Wilm’s tumor is a childhood form of kidney cancer.
Kidney cancer is among the 10 most common cancers in both men and women. The American Cancer Society forecasts that there will be about 64,770 new cases of kidney cancer (40,250 in men and 24,520 in women) in the United States in 2012. A person’s risk of developing kidney cancer in their lifetime is about 1 in 67 (1.49 percent). Men are at greater risk than women. Kidney cancer is uncommon in people younger than age 45. The average age of diagnosis is 64.
There is no way to know for certain if you will develop kidney cancer. However, a variety of lifestyle- and occupation-related factors may make you more likely to develop kidney cancer, including if you:
- Smoke cigarettes or use tobacco in any form
- Are very overweight (obese)
- Have high blood pressure (hypertension)
- Have a family history of kidney cancer or certain conditions, like Von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) disease and hereditary papillary renal cell carcinoma
- Are exposed to certain chemicals in the workplace, among them cadmium (a type of metal), asbestos, some herbicides, benzene and organic solvents.
We Can Help
Please call us at 212-241-4812 to learn how our physicians can provide an in-depth evaluation to ensure optimal treatment for you or your loved one based on your medical profile and needs.
Tel: 800-MD-Sinai (800-637-4624)
To make an appointment:
Dr. Michael Palese, Director of Minimally Invasive Surgery, removes a kidney tumor using the daVinci robot.