Cancer means abnormal development of cells uncontrollably. Abnormal cell proliferation leads to cancer. Cancer cells do not follow the normal mechanism of cell growth.Normally, cancer cells exist in human body, but they either die on their own or body’s immune system destroys them.
Uncontrolled proliferation of cells in any part of the body means cancer. Cancer cells do not just affect one organ and may enter different organs. The more severe the disease, the more parts of the body cancer cells enter.
Kidneys are bean-shaped organs. They are located on both sides of the upper abdomen. The kidneys and adrenal glands are surrounded by a membrane of fat.Kidney cancer is on the rise, as statistics show. One reason for this may be the fact that imaging techniques such as computed tomography (CT) scans are more commonly used today.
These tests may lead to the accidental detection of more kidney cancers. Many people know exactly what is going on in their body. They do not fall and do not undergo an annual checkup, so some diseases are discovered by accident.
Kidney cancer is often detected in the early stages, when the cancer has not spread and is limited to the kidney.
Types of kidney cancer
There are different types of kidney cancer
Children up to age 15 are more likely to develop a type of kidney cancer called Wilms’ tumor. Wilms’ tumor is a rare type of kidney cancer, also called pediatric kidney cancer. This type of kidney cancer is also known as nephroblastoma.
Six percent of all childhood cancers are Wilms’ tumors. The disease is usually unilateral and the probability of involvement of both kidneys is less than 50%.
The symptoms of Wilms’ tumor are similar to symptoms of other types of kidney cancer:
- The presence of blood in the urine (hematuria)
- Abnormal growth of abdominal size
- Abdominal pain
- High blood pressure or hypertension (in some cases)
- nausea and vomiting
Kidney cancer is one of the 10 most dangerous diseases. It is one the three most important urology diseases as well.
The age of onset of kidney cancer is usually in 50 to 70. Men are more likely to get kidney cancer than women. 60% of patients with kidney cancer are men.
The first sign of kidney cancer is usually the presence of blood in urine. Other warning signs are abdominal and back pain. If these symptoms occur, see a doctor immediately.
Major risk factors for kidney cancer
The factor or factors that most often cause kidney cancer are not still accurately known. But there are risk factors that are common in most patients.
Aging, genetics, overweight and obesity, certain diseases, family history of disease are among the most common causes.
Smoking increases the risk of developing kidney cancer as well.
Inherited kidney disease is also effective. People born with certain inherited syndromes have a higher risk of developing kidney cancer.
For example, people with Von Hippel-Lindau disease, Birt-Hogg Dube syndrome, Tuberous sclerosis complex, or inherited papillary kidney cell cancer have higher risk for kidney cancer rather than people without these illnesses.
A family history of kidney cancer has a big impact. If you have kidney cancer among your first-degree relatives, you are more likely to get it.
Another risk factor that increases a person’s risk of developing kidney cancer is exposure to certain chemicals such as cadmium, benzene, chemical solvents and asbestos.
However, as these cases do not necessarily lead to cancer, one may not include any of these and
Kidney cancer symptoms
- Back pain or side pain with unexplained reason that does not improve
- Appetite loss
- Unexplained weight loss
- Abdominal size growth
- Blood in the urine, which may be red or pink
See your doctor as soon as possible if you have these symptoms. In addition to examination, kidney cancer is diagnosed through blood tests, urine tests, and ultrasound.
A biopsy, which means taking a tissue from a part of the body, is a common way to diagnose cancer. In some cases, a definitive diagnosis can only be made through a biopsy. But in kidney cancer, this method is usually not needed.
Stages of kidney cancer
Kidney cancer has four stages depending on the extent of the disease and whether or not other organs are involved:
At this stage a seven centimeters or smaller tumor has formed inside the kidney.
A seven centimeter or bigger tumor has formed inside the kidney but other organs still are not infected.
At this stage, the kidney tumor extends beyond the kidneys and may have reached the adrenal glands or adjacent tissues or organs. In addition, it may involve lymph nodes.
At this stage, the disease has reached its peak and has affected other organs, such as the intestines, lungs, or pancreas.
The adrenal glands and adipose tissue around the kidneys are surrounded by cancer cells.
Treatment at this stage depends on the patient’s level of general health and the extent of the cancer cells spreading to other parts of the body.
Preventing kidney cancer
Improving general health helps you to stay away from kidney cancer. If you already have 1 or more risk factors, it helps you to decrease the likelihood of getting kidney cancer.
If you want to reduce your risk of getting kidney cancer, quit smoking. There are many ways to quit. You can use the services of supporting programs, drugs and nicotine replacement products.
Lose weight and get healthy, normal weight
Try to stay in a healthy weight. If you are overweight or obese, decrease your calorie intake and increase your activity. Consult your doctor to find easy, possible ways for losing weight.
Controlling blood pressure
Every time you see your doctor, ask to check your blood pressure. If you have high blood pressure, you can find ways to lower it by consulting your doctor.
Changing lifestyle with having more physical activity and exercise, lose weight and following a diet help controlling blood pressure. Some may need medicines for lowering it. If you need medicine, take it regularly.
Treatment of kidney cancer
Treatment depends on a number of factors, including the type of cell, stage of the cancer, possible side effects, the patient’s preferences and general health.
Kidney cancer is usually treated with surgery, immunotherapy, targeted therapy or a combination of these methods. Radiation therapy and chemotherapy are also sometimes used.
People with advanced kidney cancer, often known as metastatic cancer, often receive several types of treatment. This means that the treatments are performed one after the other.
Targeted therapy is therapy that targets cancer-specific genes, proteins, or tissue environments that help cancer grow and survive. This type of treatment blocks the growth and spread of cancer cells and limits damage to healthy cells.
The kidneys are vital organs in the human body that are responsible for disposing of waste products. The occurrence of any kind of problem in them should be taken seriously because it can be very dangerous.
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