Kidney Cancer

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Kidney Cancer

What is Kidney Cancer?

Kidney Cancer, also called renal cancer is a disease, in which the healthy cells in the kidneys change and grow out of control. Thus, forming a mass called a renal cortical tumour. A tumour can often be malignant indolent or benign. A malignant tumour is one that is cancerous and spreads to other parts of the body. The indolent tumour is also cancerous but rarely spreads to other parts of the body, and a benign tumour is one that can grow but will not spread.

What are The Types of Kidney Cancer?

There are many types of kidney cancer. They include:

  • Renal Cell Carcinoma: This is the most common type of kidney cancer in adults and develops in the proximal renal tubes that make up for the kidney’s filtration system. Each kidney has over thousands of these tiny filtration units within them.

  • Transitional Cell Carcinoma: Also called urothelial carcinoma, the transitional cell carcinoma begins in the area of the kidney, called the renal pelvis; where the urine gets collected before moving to the bladder. This kind of cancer is treated like the bladder cancer as both cancers start in the same cells.

  • Wilms Tumour: This type of cancer is most common in children and is often treated differently with radiation therapy and chemotherapy; unlike the other types of kidney cancer that use a combination of both, therapy and surgery.

  • Sarcoma: This kind of cancer is relatively rare and develops in the soft tissues of the kidney, the capsule- the thin layer of the connective tissue that surrounds the kidney or the surrounding fat. Sarcoma of the kidneys is often treated with surgery. However, it comes back in the kidney area or spreads to other parts of the body. Therefore, surgery or chemotherapy may be recommended post the first surgery.

  • Lymphoma: This kind of cancer can enlarge both the kidneys and is often associated with enlarged lymph nodes, known as lymphadenopathy in other parts of the body. This may include the chest, neck and abdominal cavity. In a few rare cases, the kidney lymphoma can appear as a tumour mass in the kidney and may also include enlarged regional lymph nodes. In this kind of cancer, chemotherapy is usually recommended instead of surgery.

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Kidney Cancer?

In most cases, people do not have obvious symptoms of kidney cancer. However, as the tumour grows larger, the symptoms may begin to appear. A few of them include:

  • Blood in the urine
  • A lump in the side or abdomen
  • Persistent pain the lower back
  • Loss of appetite
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Anaemia
  • Persistent high blood pressure
  • Night sweats
  • Swollen glands in the neck
  • Swelling of the legs or ankles
  • Bone pain
  • Coughing up blood

A few of these symptoms only occur once the cancer is advanced and has spread to other parts of the body such as the bones or lungs.

What are the Causes of Kidney Cancer?

The exact cause of kidney cancer is not yet known. However, certain factors appear to increase one’s risk of getting the condition. A few of these factors include:

  • Smoking
  • Chronic high blood pressure
  • Obesity
  • Family history of kidney cancer
  • Von Hippel-Lindau syndrome
  • Misusing painkillers for an extended period
  • Tuberous sclerosis

These are a few risk factors for kidney cancer. However, having these does not mean that you will get the condition. But it is also true that you may get the condition, despite having none of these factors.

What are the Stages of Kidney Cancer?

There are four stages of kidney cancer. They are:

  • Stage 1: In this stage, a tumour of about seven centimetres or smaller appears in the kidney.

  • Stage 2: A tumour larger than seven centimetres is in the kidney.

  • Stage 3: In this stage,

    • A tumour is in the kidney and at least one nearby lymph node
    • A tumour is the kidney’s main blood vessel and may be in the nearby lymph node
    • A tumour is in the fatty tissue around the kidney and may involve the nearby lymph nodes
    • A tumour extends into the veins or the perinephric tissues but not beyond the Gerota’s fascia or into the ipsilateral adrenal gland.
  • Stage 4: In kidney cancer stage 4,

    • Cancer has spread much beyond the fat layer of tissue around the kidneys and may also be near the lymph nodes.
    • Cancer may have spread to the other organs in the body such as the bowel, lungs or pancreas.
    • Cancer has spread beyond the Gerota’s fascia and extended into the ipsilateral adrenal gland.

How to Treat Kidney Cancer?

Once you are diagnosed with kidney cancer and know the stage of cancer, your doctor and you can plan your treatment. You doctor may refer you to a specialist such as a urologist, a radiation oncologist, or a surgeon for treatment. There are many types of kidney cancer treatment. However, in most cases, surgery is the first step. Sometimes, even if the surgery removes the entire tumour, your doctor may recommend additional treatments, to kill the remaining cancer cells, if any. Here below are a few types of treatment for kidney cancer.

  • Surgery: In most cases, surgery is the first step to treating kidney cancer. It is performed to remove a part or the affected kidney.

  • Biological Therapies: This therapy uses medications that help in stopping cancer from growing or spreading.

  • Ablation Therapies: In this treatment, the cancerous cells are destroyed by either heating or freezing them.

  • Embolization: This is a procedure that cuts off the supply of the blood to cancer.

  • Radiotherapy: In this treatment, high-energy radiation is used to target the cancer cells and relieve the symptoms.

Apollo Experience

At Apollo Clinic, we aim at offering you few of the best health care services and treatments for numerous conditions, one of them being kidney cancer. With a team of few of the best nephrologists in the country and state-of-the-art facilities, we provide you with accurate diagnosis and treatments for all your conditions. Also, helping you tackle your condition with positivity and ensuring that you lead a healthy life.

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