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kidney-cancer

Kidney Cancer

Kidney cancer is caused by the abnormal growth of cells in the kidney tissue. Eventually, these abnormal growths turn malignant and form a tumour in one or both the kidneys. They are located right behind the abdominal organs and filter out waste from the blood and store the urine.

In most cases, kidney cancer occurs due to renal cell carcinoma, one of the most common cancer. However, kidney cancer is getting diagnosed more often due to imaging tests. It has also improved the outcome of kidney cancer as it gets treated before cancer can spread into the other tissues and organs.

However, some types of kidney cancer can evade detection metastasize quickly. Different types of kidney cancer include:

  • Renal cell carcinoma occurs in the cells of small tube lining within the kidney. It is the most common type of kidney cancer and accounts for 85% of all cases.
  • Transitional cell carcinoma occurs in the ureter, which directly connects to the main part of the kidneys. It can also occur in the bladder and accounts for only 7% of all cases.
  • Renal sarcoma is a rare type of kidney cancer that accounts for only 1% of the total cases. It occurs in the connective tissues of the kidneys and can spread into the nearby organs and bones.
  • Wilms’ tumour only occurs in children and accounts for 5% of the cases.

Symptoms:

In most cases, cancer doesn’t cause any symptoms until it becomes malignant. However, various symptoms might indicate the advancement of kidney cancer. Therefore, one should pay close attention to the following symptoms:

  • Blood in the urine
  • A lump in the kidney area
  • Recurring abdominal and back pain
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite and sudden weight loss
  • Fever
  • High blood pressure
  • Anaemia
    • So, if one has blood in the urine and recurring symptoms, they should make an appointment with our oncologist.

      Causes:

      Kidney cancer is caused when cells in the kidney start mutating and turn malignant. These cell mutations then lead to a tumour formation that invades and destroys healthy cells and tissues.

      Risk factors:

      The exact causes of cell mutation are unknown. However, several factors can also increase the risk of kidney cancer significantly. Some of these factors are:

      • Ageing
      • Smoking
      • Obesity
      • High blood pressure
      • History of kidney disorders
      • Long-term dialysis treatment

      Diagnosis:

      Our doctor will check the patient’s symptoms and medical history to assess the risk of cancer. They will also perform a physical exam to check for abdominal swelling or a lump near the kidneys. If our doctors suspect kidney cancer, they may use the following tests:

      • Blood tests to determine the cause of the symptoms and to rule out other diseases.
      • Urine tests to check for the traces of blood in the urine.
      • Imaging tests, such as X-ray, CT scan or MRI to identify and measure the tumour or other abnormal growth in the kidneys.
      • Renal mass biopsy to take a small sample of tissue from the kidneys and test it for cancer cells.

      Treatment:

      Treatment may depend on cancer’s size, patients overall health and their preference. Based on these factors, our doctors will recommend the most-effective treatment option for kidney cancer.

      Chemotherapy:

      In chemotherapy, our doctors will use a group of drugs to stop cancer from spreading. Cancer cells absorb the drugs faster than normal cells, thus slowing their growth. These drugs can be delivered through a vein or a catheter, depending on the stage of cancer.

      Radiation therapy:

      Our surgeon will use controlled radiation to damage or destroy the DNA of cancer cells. Our radiation oncologist will use a machine to direct the energy beams on the cancer cells. It can be used in combination with chemotherapy if surgery isn’t an option.

      Surgery:

      In most cases, surgery is the most-effective treatment for kidney cancer. Our doctors will surgically remove cancer while preserving the surrounding tissues that are essential for kidney function. Surgical options include:

      • Radical nephrectomy: It. Our doctors will make one large incision in the abdomen and remove the whole kidney and the surrounding tissues, including the lymph nodes.
      • Partial nephrectomy: Also known as kidney-sparing or nephron-sparing surgery, it involves removing cancer rather than the entire kidney.
      • Laparoscopic nephrectomy: In this surgery, our doctors will make several tiny incisions in the abdomen. They will insert a laparoscope and a camera through these incisions to remove the tumour and cancerous cells. It’s a minimally invasive surgery that preserves kidney function, have fewer complications and won’t require dialysis.

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