What is Kidney Cancer?
Before discussing about the Kidney Cancer, it is necessary to understand one of the most essential organs of human body i.e. Kidney.
The kidneys are a pair of bean-shaped organs found in the stomach area of human body. The size of both the kidneys is same. A person can live normal life even with one kidney.
The kidney plays major role, as it filters blood and support body to get rid of salt, waste materials, and excessive water that usually come out as urine. Besides, kidney also helps to control blood pressure by making hormones. It also assists to develop more red blood cells.
Kidney Cancer: However, sometimes, because of some dysfunctional activity, some extra cells grow and develop as tumour in the kidney. Initially, this tumour remains as benign (not exactly cancer), but untreated or outgrown benign turns into malignant (a complete cancer), known as kidney cancer.
Types of Kidney Cancer:
Following are major types of Kidney cancer:
- It is normally not a threat, if it is diagnosed and treated on time.
- It is treatable permanently.
- It does not affect neighbour cells nor spread in other parts of the body.
- It is fatal can take even life.
- It grows fast and damage neighbour cells.
- It spreads in other part of the body.
- It can be treated normally by removing the tumour from the kidney.
- After removal, the risk factor remains that it can re-grow.
Renal Cell Carcinoma:
- It is one of the most common types of kidney cancer.
- Initially, it grows as single tumour, but later multiplies.
- In some cases, it is found in both the kidneys simultaneously.
Other Types of Kidney Cancer:
Following are some other types of kidney cancer:
- Transitional Cell Carcinoma
- Renal Sarcoma
- Wilms Tumour
Causes and Risk Factors of Kidney Cancer:
Though the exact cause of kidney cancer is not known however, its risk factors can be grouped as:
Life-Style and Job-Related Risk: Sometimes, laziness or negligence becomes very expensive and causes life threatening diseases, kidney is one of them. For example,
- Excessive Body Weight
- Exposure to fatal chemicals at work place
Inherited Risk: In some rare case, kidney cancer caused because of inherited conditions. Following are some conditions that may cause kidney cancer:
- Hereditary papillary renal cell carcinoma
- Hereditary leiomyoma-renal cell carcinoma
- Birt-Hogg-Dube Syndrome
- Von Hippel-Lindau disease
- Familial Renal Cancer
Other Risk Factors:
- Family Medical History: Not necessarily, but if someone’s in close relation has kidney cancer (especially siblings), then there is risk.
- High Blood Pressure: Not necessarily, but high blood pressure can also be a risk.
- Gender: In comparison to female, male is more vulnerable to kidney cancer.
- Kidney Disease: Some of the kidney disease may also cause kidney cancer.
Sign and Symptoms of Kidney Cancer:
Some types of kidney cancers grow silently without giving any pain and patient cannot notice it until it becomes larger. However, some other types can be noticed at early stage.
Following are the some of the symptoms of kidney cancer:
- Presence of blood in the urine
- Low back pain (on one side) without any injury
- Unexpectedly weight loss without making any attempt
- Fever that normally does not get treated
However, these problems are not necessarily caused because of kidney cancer, but rather it can be seen because of some other reasons as well. Therefore, it is highly suggestible to get diagnosed through thorough medical check-up. Don’t delay, remember, timely treatment can remove your kidney cancer permanently.
Diagnosis of Kidney Cancer:
If you have any doubt; don’t ignore get it treated properly. Cooperate doctors by providing medical history of yours as well as of your family.
As kidney cancers affect the inner part of the body, hence it cannot be diagnosed through normal symptoms and external physical examination.
Following are some of medical methods to diagnose kidney cancer:
- Urine Tests
- Blood Tests
- CT Scan
Stages of Kidney Cancer:
Following are the stages of kidney cancer:
- The size of tumour is not much bigger; it is about the size of a tennis ball.
- Cancer cells are remaining only in the kidney do not spread.
- The size of tumour increases.
- Cancer cells still remain only in the kidney.
- The size of tumour became much larger.
- It affects the neighbour cells and spread to nearby lymph node.
- The size of tumour is outgrown through the layer of fatty tissue.
- Cancer cells by the time spread to nearby lymph nodes or even to the lungs, liver, bones, or other part of the body.
Treatment of Kidney Cancer:
Treatment of kidney cancer is dependent upon the size, stage, and affected part of the body. After proper diagnosis, doctor decides what type of treatment should be given; either it is needed only one type of treatment or couple of treatments.
Following are the common type of treatments of kidney cancer:
Surgery: Surgery is a common and comprehensive type of treatment that includes:
- Removing part of the kidney (partial nephrectomy): Doctor removes part of tumour, as per the requirement.
- Removing all of the kidney (radical nephrectomy): Doctor removes entire kidney including the adrenal gland.
- Cryosurgery: Doctor inserts a tool through a tiny incision or directly through the skin into the tumour to freeze and kill the tumour.
- Radio-frequency ablation: It is similar to cryosurgery.
Biological Therapy: It is a sort of treatment that improves the body’s natural immune system against the cancer and kidney cancer’s growth get slow down. Under this therapy, intravenously or under the skin injection is given to patient.
Some other Types of Treatment:
- Radiation Therapy
- Targeted Therapy
Preventive Measures of Kidney Cancer:
Following are some of the preventive measures that help to keep you healthy:
- Balanced and healthy food
- Avoid smoking
- Regular Physical exercise including yoga
Since, its causes are little known or not known, therefore, it is difficult to take some preventive measures in advance.
Therefore, as suggested above, keep regular check-up of your body, do not ignore even a minor health problem, get it diagnosed properly.