Kidney Cancer: Symptoms, Treatment, Prevention

Overview

Kidney cancer, also called renal cancer, is a type of cancer that begins in the kidneys. In adults, kidney cancer is one of the most common types of cancer for both men and women. Mainly, the kidney cancer originates in two parts of the kidney, the renal tubule and the renal pelvis.

In the United States, there are about 63,990 new cases of kidney cancer diagnosed every year. About 14,000 people die from the disease on an annual basis.

Causes

At present, the exact causes of kidney cancer remain unclear. However, there are several risks that may increase the risk of getting kidney cancer such as:

  • Older age
  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • High blood pressure
  • Family history
  • Certain inherited syndromes
  • Certain chemicals

Symptoms

During the early stages, people with kidney cancer seldom show any symptoms. In the later stages, people with the condition may show signs and symptoms such as:

  • Blood in the urine
  • Pain in the back
  • Loss of appetite
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Tiredness
  • Fever that comes and goes

Diagnosis

Since kidney stone has few or no clear signs during the early stages, there are no routine tests for that type of cancer. But, when the symptoms do appear, the doctor usually tends to order the following tests to confirm a diagnosis:

  • Blood and urine tests
  • Imaging tests
  • A biopsy

After the doctor gets a definite diagnosis, proper treatment can be done according to each patient’s reality.

Treatment

To treat kidney cancer, the doctor needs to take many factors into consideration, such as the stage of your kidney cancer, your overall health, and your preferences of treatment. In general, nonsurgical treatment and surgical treatment are both available.

Nonsurgical treatment

  • Cryoablation

This procedure is to freeze the cancer cells. The doctor will insert a hollow needle through your skin and into the kidney tumor with the help of ultrasound.

  • Radiofrequency ablation

In this procedure, the doctor will insert a special probe through your skin and into the kidney tumor using ultrasound in order to heat the cancer cells.

Surgical treatment

In fact, surgery is the main treatment method for kidney cancer. The goal of surgical treatment is to remove the cancer cells completely. In order to do this, the doctor may choose to perform a nephrectomy or a partial nephrectomy.

The doctor will choose the best surgery for you in line with your situation.

Prevention

Changing your lifestyle can be helpful to reduce the risk of getting kidney cancer. You can do the following things to lower the risk:

  • Quit smoking
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Maintain a healthy diet
  • Do more exercises
  • Control high blood pressure


Keywords: kidney cancer; renal cancer.

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* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.