Also known as renal cancer, kidney cancer is caused when kidney cells become malignant and form a tumor. Kidneys are two bean-shaped organs that clean your blood, remove waste products and produce urine.
These cancers usually occur in the lining of tiny kidney tubes and are called renal cell carcinoma. Fortunately, most kidney cancers are diagnosed before they can metastasize to other organs. It has also improved the outcome of kidney cancer as cancers caught early are easier to treat successfully.
What are the symptoms of kidney cancers?
Kidney cancer doesn’t cause any symptoms in the early stages. But as cancer grows and spread, various symptoms may occur to indicate the advancement of kidney cancer. Hence, one should pay close attention to these symptoms:
- Blood in the urine
- A lump near the abdomen or in the kidney area
- Recurring abdominal and back pain
- Weakness and fatigue
- Loss of appetite and sudden weight loss
- Bone pain
- Dyspnea ———
While most kidney cancer can be detected by these symptoms, some can evade detection and metastasize quickly. Kidney cancer that spreads to other parts of your body may cause additional symptoms, such as breathing difficulties, bone pain and blood in the cough. So if one has any of these symptoms, they should consult with a doctor for prompt evaluation.
Screening & Diagnosis:
To confirm a diagnosis of kidney cancer, our doctors will conduct a thorough physical exam and take the patient’s health history. They will examine the patient’s abdomen and side for lumps and check for fever and high blood pressure to assess the risk of cancer. If the doctors suspect cancer, they may perform the following tests:
- Blood tests to check the kidney functions and determine the cause of the symptoms
- Urine tests to check for traces of blood or other sign of problems
- Intravenous pyelogram or IVP to highlight tumors in the kidneys.
- Imaging tests, such as X-ray, CT scan or MRI to identify and measure the tumor or other abnormal growth in the kidneys.
- Renal arteriogram to evaluate the blood supply and diagnose small tumors
- Renal mass biopsy to take a small sample of tissue from the kidneys and test it for cancer cells
Once the diagnosis confirms kidney cancer, the doctors need other tests to determine how far cancer has spread. They will perform imaging tests to identify and measure the tumor’s growth. These staging tests include:
- CT Scan to create a series of detailed pictures of the affected area for diagnosing kidney cancer.
- Magnetic resonance imaging or MRI to create detailed images of soft tissues in your body to identify cancerous cells.
- DTPA Scan
- Bone Scan
Treatment for kidney cancer depends on the cancer’s spread and patients overall health and preference. Based on these factors, our doctors will plan the best treatment option to cure cancer with fewer chances of recurrence. These treatments are:
are performed to remove cancer from a specific area of the body where it is localized. These treatments can help to completely get rid of cancer when it is in an early stage.
In surgery, our doctors will use various procedures to remove cancer while preserving the surrounding tissues essential for kidney function. These procedures can be:
- Radical nephrectomy to remove the whole kidney, adrenal gland and the surrounding tissues, including the lymph nodes.
- Partial nephrectomy to remove only cancer or the kidney.
- Laparoscopic nephrectomy to remove the tumor and surrounding tissues with a laparoscope to preserve kidney function.
use medication and drugs to destroy the cancer cells. These treatments are prescribed by Medical oncologist and include the following:
Our doctors use a group of anticancer drugs to kill cancer cells or stop them from multiplying. These drugs can be delivered through a vein or a catheter, depending on the stage of cancer.
Our doctors use drugs or other substances to find and target cancer cells with less toxicity to normal cells. It can keep blood vessels from feeding a tumor, causing it to shrink or stop growing.