Kidney cancer care in Denver

In concert with the Sarah Cannon Institute at Swedish Medical Center, Swedish is home to the Center for Diseases of the Liver & Pancreas—one of the Rocky Mountain region’s best centers for the treatment of kidney cancer and other gastroenterological cancers.

For more information about Center for Diseases of the Liver & Pancreas at Swedish Medical Center, call (303) 788-3478.

Risk factors and symptoms

Our interdisciplinary team of experts is experienced in the recognition, diagnosis and treatment of kidney cancer. Our oncology and nephrology specialists use advanced diagnostic tools as well as their expertise in recognizing risk factors, warning signs and condition symptoms to ensure early detection and treatment of kidney cancer.

Common risk factors of kidney cancer include obesity, older age, smoking, high blood pressure, family history of kidney cancer, exposure to certain substances at work (asbestos, cadmium or specific herbicides) and long-term dialysis. Additionally, those with tuberous sclerosis complex, Birt-Hogg-Dubé syndrome, von Hippel-Lindau disease, hereditary papillary renal cell carcinoma or familial renal cancer are also at a higher risk of developing kidney cancer. For patients with these risk factors, our physicians examine each patient to determine whether any symptoms of kidney cancer are present.

Some of the most common symptoms of kidney cancer are:

  • Blood in urine
  • Loss of appetite
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Unrelieved pain in the low back or on one side
  • Intermittent fever (not due to illness)
  • Swelling in legs or ankles

Early screening and diagnosis

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

  • Biopsy
  • Blood tests
  • CT scan
  • Laparoscopy
  • Medical history and physical exam
  • MRI scan
  • PET scan
  • Renal angiogram
  • Ultrasound

Kidney cancer treatment

We use cutting-edge imaging technology and advanced surgical procedures to treat complex tumors and provide the best possible outcome for our patients.

Many new technologies and treatments are helping patients with renal diseases live longer and healthier. Our cancer specialists employ advanced treatment options, which can include surgical treatment, radiation oncology and chemotherapy. We offer minimally invasive (including robot-assisted) options whenever possible. Surgical options may include radical nephrectomy (kidney, ureter and fatty tissue removal), simple nephrectomy (kidney removal) or partial nephrectomy (tumor removal only, allowing the kidney to continue to function). Additional kidney cancer treatments include:

  • Drug therapies
  • Radioembolization/chemoembolization
  • Radiofrequency ablation
  • Gastroenterology/hepatology treatments
  • Interventional radiology

To learn more about kidney cancer treatment at Swedish Medical Center, call (303) 788-3478.

Individual condition case conferences

Every cancer patient at Swedish Medical Center receives a personalized treatment plan and individualized attention from our interdisciplinary care team. At our cancer department, physicians of multiple medical backgrounds regularly meet for interdisciplinary case conferences. At these meetings, each will provide their own perspective on your treatment and progress. The specialists reviewing your case at the Center for Diseases of the Liver & Pancreas include:

  • Gastroenterologists: Board-certified physicians specialized in diseases of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.
  • Hepatologists: Board-certified physicians specialized in liver and biliary diseases.
  • Interventional radiologists: Specialists in performing minimally invasive and image-guided techniques to treat tumors or obstructions.
  • General surgeons: Fellowship-trained, highly trained in the surgical removal of the kidney.
  • Medical and radiation oncologists: Oncologists who administer chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

Patient navigation

At Swedish Medical Center, we have created a patient navigator program to streamline patient care and provide a single point of contact for patient and family needs. We understand that a cancer diagnosis can feel overwhelming—our specially trained oncology nurse navigators help you access services during treatment and recovery. Our navigators craft medical survivorship plans for each patient, including resources regarding screening schedules, treatment dates, warning symptoms and remission instructions. Our oncology nurse navigators are available for patient support through treatment and survivorship.

Cancer support

Our Cancer Resource Center offers information and assistance to patients and their loved ones. Any patient can call the Cancer Resource Center at (303) 788-2627 to speak with our nurses, dietitians and volunteers about resources and support services for cancer patients.

Patients are welcome to attend our free support group and educational classes that are held regularly. They can also speak with our specially trained staff about scheduling a meeting with Swedish health professionals.

About Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute

Swedish Medical Center is 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 or chat online at