Kidney Cancer Awareness Month: Multidisciplinary Care is the Key

doctors o'malley, crispen, brisbane, Ramnaraign and chatzel are dressed in white coats standing by the water feature fountain at hotel eleo.
Pictured left to right: Dr. Padraic O’Malley, Dr. Paul Crispen, Dr. Wayne Brisbane, Dr. Brian Ramnaraign, Dr. Jonathan Chatzkel. Not pictured: Dr. Robert Zlotecki, Dr. Jeffrey Vogel

March is National Kidney Cancer Awareness Month, so it’s a great time to put the spotlight on these amazing organs that act as a pair of janitors in many ways. They remove waste products and drugs from the body, while also balancing the body’s fluids, releasing hormones that regulate blood pressure and so much more. However, if one or both of this dynamic duo stops working, it can lead to major health problems.

Kidney cancer is among the 10 most common cancers for men and women. In 2022, about 79,000 new cases of kidney cancer will be diagnosed. While many of these cases tend to be in those over the age of 45 and occur more often for men, kidney cancer can affect anyone.

Because kidney cancer can occur for anyone and in varying levels of severity, it is crucial that treatment for kidney cancer is personalized for the patient. At UF Health, urologists, medical oncologists and radiation oncologists work together to develop individualized, multidisciplinary treatment plans for each patient’s circumstances based on age, general health, life expectancy and tumor characteristics.

“It is incredibly important for locally advanced and metastatic cancer patients to have access to multi-modal therapies. The way we sequence these treatments, we can tailor treatment designs to individual patients to optimize their cancer care and maintain or improve their quality of life. It is a massive focus of what we do at UF Health Urology,” said Padriac O’Malley, MD, MSc, FRCSC, assistant professor in the department of urology at the University of Florida College of Medicine.

For tumors that have not spread from the tissue or organ in which they originated, options may range from surgery, such as a radical or partial nephrectomy, to surveillance or thermal ablation. For advanced cancers, options may also include surgery or systemic therapy, such as immunotherapy or a combination approach. UF Health’s team approach to kidney cancer care also includes multidisciplinary surgical teams for patients who may have massively complex tumors that involve the liver or the heart. On the radiation oncology side, radiation strategies are being developed to act with the precision of a surgeon’s knife without the invasiveness of surgery.

“We are extremely fortunate to have experts in all areas of kidney cancer treatment at UF Health,” said Li-Ming Su, MD, chair of the department of urology.

Jessica, Bill and Robert are patients at UF Health who experienced this firsthand. Their situations differed, but their outcomes were the same.

Learn about how UF Health’s multidisciplinary approaches lead their journeys to being cancer free:

Author: Gabrielle Massari


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