Certain kidney cells grow out of control, causing an organ mass that is fatal, and this is what causes kidney cancer, also known as renal cell carcinoma. If the cancer is not removed, it may spread to neighboring tissues and organs and prevent the organ from functioning. It is curable if caught in time. New treatments and techniques have considerably improved overall cure rates, even in more advanced stages.
Kidney cancer is increasingly found in children also now-a-days as Wilms tumor. Kidney cancer is most common in people of age 65-74. Males are more prone to develop this disease than females. It’s more common in Native American and Black populations. 500-600 children every year suffer from Wilms tumor. There are different types of kidney cancer such as renal cell carcinoma, wilms tumor, renal sarcoma, transitional cell cancer. Some kidney tumors are benign while some are malignant.
Kidney cancer often does not cause any noticeable symptoms. Some symptoms that need attention include:
When certain kidney cells experience DNA changes (mutations), kidney cancer starts to spread. The instructions that inform a cell what to do are encoded in its DNA. The adjustments instruct the cells to multiply and expand quickly. The growing mass of aberrant cells can grow outside of the kidney. It is possible for some cells to separate and travel (metastasize) to other places of the body. This is how the spread of kidney cancer occurs.
Stage of any cancer is based on size and location of tumor, extent to which lymph nodes are affected, degree to which cancer is spread. There are four stages of cancer. Stage1 involves a small tumor with no spread to lymph nodes. Stage 2 involves a larger tumor that has not spread to lymph nodes either. Stage 3 involves a tumor that has spread to major blood vessels and lymph nodes. Last stage 4 involves spread of tumor to outside of kidney and other distant lymph nodes, tissues and organs.
Direct tumor effects such as abdominal bloating, hypertension and constipation, paraneoplastic phenomenon, metastasis, adverse effects from targeted systemic therapies such as from surgery leading to renal function compromise, hypertension, impaired wound healing, proteinuria, hemorrhage, thrombosis, impaired cardiac function, endocrine dysfunction etc.
There are several kinds of treatment for kidney cancer. In most instances, surgery is the first measure. Even if surgery removes the entire tumor, additional treatment may be suggested to destroy any remaining cancer cells that can't be noticed.
Following surgery for kidney cancer may be suggested:
One can survive with a part of one kidney as long as it is still operating. If both kidneys are removed or non-functional, dialysis or a kidney transplant may be suggested.
If surgery cannot eliminate kidney cancer, other options to help eradicate the tumor are:
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