Kidney Cancer Diagnosis

The Perlmutter Cancer Center offers a variety of tools for diagnosing kidney cancer, including:

  • blood and urine analysis
  • ultrasound
  • CT and MRI
  • biopsy of tissue suspected to be cancerous

Today many kidney cancers are found "incidentally," when a patient is having a scan for another abdominal ailment (such as suspected gallbladder pain). As a result, those tumors are found when they are quite small, as little as 1 cm in size, before they have a chance to produce symptoms.

Perlmutter Cancer Center radiologists are leaders in the use of sophisticated CT and MRI techniques that permit three-dimensional reconstruction of the kidney. This approach is being used to plan surgery so the surgeon can preserve as much normal kidney tissue as possible.
NYU has a radiologist who is specially trained to read images of the genitourinary tract. If your doctor recommends a biopsy (removal of a small amount of tissue and examination for cancer cells), the tissue will be analyzed by NYU's expert pathologists, including a pathologist with special training diagnosing genitourinary disorders.