When most people hear the word kidney cancer, they think they might need a transplant, lose a kidney or worse, but there are tools that can actually help save healthy kidneys.

Health First Medical Group’s Andrew Zabinski, MD, is Board-certified in urology and fellowship trained in genitourinary oncology. Dr. Zabinski’s focus includes such specialized procedures as partial nephrectomy, prostatectomy, and urology reconstructive procedures. He also performs other urologic kidney and prostate procedures.

Partial nephrectomy, removing only a portion of the kidney, spares the healthy, functioning kidney tissue. “Research has proven that patients who have both kidneys are living longer,” Dr. Zabinski explains.

The American Urological Association states that partial nephrectomy is the gold standard treatment option for small to medium-sized kidney tumors or masses.

Most kidney tumors are found incidentally because of other symptoms like gallbladder pain or blood in urine. When kidney cancer is suspected, doctors arrange a kidney imaging study. The initial imaging study is usually an ultrasound or CT scan. Though most tumors are diagnosed as cancer, with early diagnosis and treatment, kidney cancer can be cured.

With the use of a robotic surgical system, surgery is performed entirely by a doctor from start to finish. Instead of using their hands directly on a patient’s body, they use micro-sized surgical instruments controlled by a highly intuitive console in the operating room. Robotic Surgery at Health First offers an elevated level of surgical care for minor to complex medical procedures.

The actual surgery lasts less than two hours. Procedure pain is minimal and patients remain in the hospital for only one to two days. “Most people can resume normal activities in two weeks, except heavy lifting,” Dr. Zabinski said.

In any case where a person has been diagnosed with a kidney tumor and the removal of the entire kidney is recommended — Dr. Zabinski stresses the importance of seeking a second opinion.

“Patients live longer with two kidneys. Preserving your healthy, functioning kidney tissue can help prevent future kidney disease and even dialysis.”

Prostate cancer is the most common non-skin malignancy in men and is responsible for more deaths than any other cancer, except for lung cancer. The American Cancer Society estimates that about 1 man in 6 will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime, but only 1 man in 34 will die of it.

Ways to reduce the risk:

According to MayoClinic.com there is some evidence that choosing a healthy diet that’s low in fat and full of fruits and vegetables may reduce your risk of prostate cancer. In general, doctors recommend that men with an average risk of prostate cancer make choices that benefit their overall health if they’re interested in prostate cancer prevention.

▶ Choose a low-fat diet

▶ Eat more fat from plants than from animals

▶ Increase the amount of fruits and vegetables you eat each day

▶ Eat fish

▶ Reduce the amount of dairy products you eat each day

▶ Drink green tea

▶ Maintain a healthy weight

▶ Exercise most days of the week