Decoding cancer

What is Kidney Cancer

What is Kidney Cancer:

Kidney Cancer - CanceRX

Our Kidneys are pair of bean snapped organs about the size of a fist attached to the upper back wall of the abdomen one to the right and the other to the left whose primary function to purifies the blood and remove excess water, salt, and waste product.  Kidney cancer usually manifests as a malignant tumour in the kidney.

Causes of Kidney Cancer:

Though the real cause of kidney cancer is unknown, certain factors has been noted to increase the risk of the disease.

  • Obesity- Being obsessed may cause hormonal imbalance which could lead to increase risk of renal cancer.
  • Smoking-Smokers have high risk of kidney cancer than non smokers. Being Male. Male stand more chance of kidney cancer than female.
  • Genetic condition- People with Von Hippel Lindau VHL disease or renal carcinoma are subject to kidney cancer.
  • Kidney failure-People with advanced kidney disease who are subject to dialysis treatment also stand a chance of renal malignancy.
  • Drugs- Long term use of certain drugs can also lead to kidney cancer.
  • Being Black- Kidney cancer is common among blacks than the whites.
  • Family History- Genetics plays an important role and may significantly up risk of developing kidney cancer.

Signs of kidney cancer:

In most cases, early symptoms are rare. The most common symptoms of mid to advance stage of kidney cancer is Haematuria and pain in the back.

Blood in the urine is medically referred to as Haematuria. Persistent pain in the side below the ribs. high blood pressure, loss of appetite, unintended weight loss, a lump or swelling in the area of the kidney on either side are the more common symptom though some patients experience night sweats and extreme tiredness.

Weight loss, loss of appetite, abdominal lump, swollen legs and ankle, anemia, fever, shortness of breath, and recurring side pain are also symptoms to watch out for.

Types of kidney cancer:

Many types of cancer can affect the kidneys but the most common type is the Renal carcinoma which accounts for more than 80% of all kidney cancers. Another type of kidney cancer is the Urothelial cell carcinoma. This type of cancer affects the urinary system especially the kidney, urethra, ureter and the urinary bladder. Transitional cancer of the kidney starts in the lining of the kidney and usually affects men who are 50years if age and above.
Wilms’ Tumor is a rare type of kidney cancer that affects the children.

Other rarer form of renal cancer are the carcinoma of the collecting duct and renal medullary carcinoma. However, kidney cancers can contain more than one type of cell.

Diagnosing kidney cancer: Along side a physical examination, several test may be requested to ascertain the condition, which include; Urine analysis, Ultrasound scan uses high frequency sound wave to determine the size , shape and contour of the kidney. Computed tomography urogram scanning would shows detail picture of the urinary system including the kidney which makes it possible for doctors to spot any anomalies. Cystoscopy is recommended for people with blood in their urine. Here a thin tube with eyepiece called a cystoscope is inserted into the urinary tract to produce pictures of the bladder and kidney on a TV screen connected to the cystoscope. The cystoscope is also equipped with a small knife for cutting of tissue for histological findings

Treatment of kidney cancer:

Surgical removal of tumor or the affected kidney is the primary treatment will depend on the staging and spread of  cancer.

  • Surgeries such as Radical nephrecromy removes the kidney and surrounding tissues.
  • Simple nephrectomy removes the kidney only.
  • Partial nephrectomy removes the cancer from the kidney with other surrounding tissues.
  • Doctors may also suggest, Arterial embolization , RFA ,Radiation or Cryotherapy and give oral pills for kidney cancer

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