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Facts you need to know about Kidney Cancer

Dr. Pankaj Mandale 2218 Views
Updated: 19 Jan 2024
Published: 02 Jan 2020
know about Kidney Cancer

Kidney cancer usually involves the formation of a single tumor in one of the person’s two kidneys. Located at the back of your abdomen, kidneys are about the size of a fist, and the smooth functioning of at least one kidney is necessary for a person to survive.

FUNCTION OF KIDNEYS:

The main function of the kidney is to make urine by removing waste and excess water from your blood. It also controls your blood pressure and make substances required for the production of red blood cells (RBCs).

TYPES OF KIDNEY CANCER:

Kidney cancer is mainly classified into 4 types:

  • Renal Cell Carcinoma:

    This is the common type of kidney cancer seen among people and accounts for about 90% of kidney cancers. In this case, there are two or more tumors growing in one or both kidneys at the same time.

    Growing as a single mass within the kidney, it starts from the inner lining of the tiny tubules of the kidney.
     
  • Transitional Cell Carcinoma:

    This is the type of cancer that is seen around 5% to 10% of all kidney cancers. Transitional Cell carcinoma starts in renal pelvis i.e. the part where the urine goes before entering the ureter, and it is also known as Urothelial Carcinoma.
     
  • Wilms Tumour:  

    This kind of tumor occurs in children and is quite rare.
     
  • Renal Sarcoma: 

    Renal Sarcoma is the rarest form of kidney cancer and accounts for just 1%.

Symptoms of Kidney Cancer

Kidney cancer is quite difficult to understand as it doesn’t show any symptoms in the initial stage. As it increases, some of the symptoms one might notice may include:

  • Blood in urine
  • Fatigue
  • Low back pain on one side
  • Loss of appetite
  • Formation of lump on the side or lower back
  • Ankle and legs swelling
  • Fevers not related to cold/flu
  • Weight loss

The first sign of kidney cancer is blood in the urine followed by other symptoms. If you feel you have any of these symptoms, it’s always better to find the nearest lab and consult a doctor.

There are two types of stages of Kidney cancer: Clinical stage and Pathological Stage. Staging usually involves finding out how far the cancer has spread within the body. Stage 1,2,3,4,5 are the stages assigned to the kidney cancer with stage 5 being the most advanced one.

Some of the risk factors associated with Kidney Cancer:

  • Sex: Men are likely to have Renal cell carcinoma type of cancer than women.
  • Smoking: Smokers have a high chance of getting diagnosed with Kidney cancer as compared to non-smokers.
  • Age: Kidney cancer mostly occurs in the later stages of life. It occurs often in people aged 55 or older.
  • Genetic Factors: If your family has a history of kidney cancer, there are chances of you getting diagnosed with it too.
  • High Blood pressure: People having high blood pressure may have the risk of kidney cancer.
  • Obesity: If a person is obese, overweight or has a high-fat diet, it elevates the risk of kidney cancer.

Some amazing and interesting facts about kidney cancer that you must know are:

  • Men have twice as many chances to develop kidney cancer.
  • Kidney cancer is one of the most common cancers.
  • As the years are passing, the number of people getting diagnosed with kidney cancer is steadily rising, however, the death rate is declining.
  • The five-year survival rate is around 81% in stage 1 kidney cancer, i.e. recovery chances of people with kidney cancer are quite good.

Diagnosis of Kidney Cancer

If you have kidney cancer, diagnosis is easily available. It may be a tedious process however your doctor will do a physical exam to look for signs and symptoms to determine the stage of cancer.

Some tests may include:

  • Biopsy- Your cells are removed and examined to diagnose and detect the type of cancer to plan further treatment.
  • Genetic tests- Gene mutations are looked at in this case, as in, if your relatives were ever diagnosed with cancer at a younger age or do you have a family history of kidney cancer.
  • Imaging tests- Imaging tests include ultrasound, Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), Computed tomography (CT) scan, or intravenous pyelogram (IVP) to find out how much and where the cancer cells have spread.
  • Blood tests- Blood tests are done to check the number of blood cells that may identify the internal problems caused by the spread of kidney cancer.

If kidney cancer is detected in the first stage itself, it is curable. Measures and advice given by the doctor definitely will help one in getting cured. Pathkind labs avail people all the facilities needed to find out whether they are diagnosed with Kidney Cancer, if they detect any symptoms, and accordingly help them during their need of the hour.

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