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Kidney Cancer

  • Overview Symptoms Causes Diagnosis Treatment
Overview

Kidney cancer is also known as renal cancer is an abnormal growth of cells in the kidney. The nomenclature is taken based on the type of cell from which cancer develops. 

The two most common types of kidney cancer are Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) and Urothelial cell carcinoma (UCC) of the renal pelvis. The RCC and UCC develop in different ways, which means that the diseases have different outlooks and need to be staged and treated in different ways. RCC is responsible for approximately 80% of primary renal cancers, and UCC accounts for the majority of the remainder.

CyberKnife radiosurgery is the ideal non-surgical option for people looking for non-invasive treatment options for renal cell carcinoma because it is a procedure which is capable of completely removing the lesion with its pinpoint accuracy. 

Symptoms

Kidney cancer rarely causes signs or symptoms in its early stages. In the later stages, kidney cancer signs and symptoms may include:

  • Blood in the urine, which may appear pink, red or cola colored
  • Back pain just below the ribs that doesn't go away
  • Persistent pain in the abdomen
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Intermittent fever
  • Heavy sweating

 

However, many of these symptoms can be caused by other conditions too, and there may also be no signs or symptoms in a person with kidney cancer, especially in the early stages of the disease. It is good to consult a specialist if an individual suffers from any (or) multiple of these symptoms.

Causes

Factors that increase the risk of kidney cancer include:

  • Faulty genes
  • A family history of kidney cancer
  • Having kidney disease that needs dialysis
  • Being infected with Hepatitis C
  • Previous treatment for testicular cancer or cervical cancer
  • Old age - risk of kidney cancer increases with age
  • Obesity - People who are obese have a higher risk of kidney cancer 
  • High blood pressure (hypertension) - High blood pressure increases your risk of kidney cancer
  • Von Hippel-Lindau disease - People with this inherited disorder are likely to develop several kinds of tumors, including, in some cases, kidney cancer.
  • Hereditary papillary renal cell carcinoma - Having this inherited condition makes it more likely for an individual to develop one or more kidney cancers.
Diagnosis

Tests and procedures used to diagnose kidney cancer include:

  • Blood and urine tests - Blood and Urine tests would help the specialist understand what's causing the signs and symptoms.
  • Imaging tests - Imaging tests allow the specialist to visualize a kidney tumor or abnormality. Imaging tests might include ultrasound, computerized tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
  • Removing a sample of kidney tissue (biopsy) - The specialist may recommend a procedure called biopsy to remove a small sample of cells from a suspicious area in the kidney. The sample is tested in a lab to look for signs of cancer.
Treatment

The treatment plan is largely planned based on several factors and the type of kidney cancer. If the cancer is advanced, treatments may be used to reduce the symptoms and prolong life.

CyberKnife radiosurgery is a highly effective tool for the treatment of primary and metastatic kidney cancer as it allows the specialist to confirm the location of the kidney tumor and track it's movement continuously in real time. This allows to deliver the high dose of radiation targetting only the tumor while sparing healthy tissues in the surrounding area.