By Cleve Bryan

CAMDEN, N.J. (CBS) — New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy is recovering from what doctors say was a successful surgery to remove a kidney tumor. Murphy had his surgery in New York where he worked for many years, but the MD Anderson Cancer at Cooper routinely does the same type of surgery the governor received and experts say he was very fortunate.

Dr. Jeff Tomaszewski spoke to CBS3 just minutes after completing the same surgery as Murphy — removing a kidney tumor. He ways while most tumors like Murphy are cancerous, there is a high rate of success removing all the cancer and saving most of the affected kidney.

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Unfortunately, early-stage kidney cancer like this is usually only detected by accident, so many people don’t know they have kidney cancer until it gets to the advanced stages.

Tomaszewski explained why Murphy is very fortunate compared to many patients he sees.

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“They can be very serious and, unfortunately, we do not have any early detection for these tumors, so there’s no screening test for kidney cancer,” Tomaszewski said.

It’s important to know the risk factors for kidney cancer. They include smoking, being overweight, having a family history of kidney cancer and most patients are over the age of 60.

“One thing you can do without insurance is really be aware of what some of the signs and symptoms are. Realize if you have some of the risk factors, you should really talk to your physician about it and be alert to these things,” Tomaszewski said.

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Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver will serve as acting governor until further notice.