Kidney Cancer in Adults
Kidney cancer is a cancer that begins in the kidney cells. This occurs when the healthy cells in the kidneys grow rapidly without any control and this leads to a tumour. Renal cell carcinoma is the most common type of kidney cancer that is seen in adults. Wilms’ tumour is a common type of kidney cancer in children. If kidney cancer is detected at an early diagnosis, it can be treated and you can get back to your life.
Kidney Cancer in Adults
As mentioned above, renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is a common form of kidney cancer that affects adults. It begins in the cells that line the kidney tubules. In the beginning, it starts as small and becomes large over time. Though it is developed as a single tumour in a kidney, it can even spread to the other kidney, bones, lungs, or brain.
Common Signs of Kidney Cancer
In the early stages, kidney cancer does not show any signs. But, as the tumour begins to grow, you will start noticing the signs. This is the reason for why kidney cancer remains undiagnosed until it starts spreading.
The following are some of the common signs:
- Blood in your urine
- Sudden weight loss
- Pain in the back or side
- Loss of hunger
- Fever without any reason
- A lump in the abdomen or lower back
If you ever experience any of the above mentioned, you should immediately consider visiting a doctor for an early diagnosis.
What Causes Kidney Cancer?
The reason for why kidney cells grow rapidly and cause cancer is unknown. However, there are certain factors that can lead to kidney cancer such as:
- Smoking: People who smoke are at higher risk of developing kidney cancer.
- Obesity: Obesity is one of the greater risk factors for developing kidney cancer. People who are obese have higher chances of developing kidney cancer than others.
- Family history of kidney cancer: If one of your family members has kidney cancer, you are at a greater risk of developing kidney cancer.
- Treatment for kidney disease: If you are receiving dialysis for a long term to treat kidney failure, you have chance of developing kidney cancer.
- Certain genetic diseases: You may develop kidney cancer if you have certain genetic diseases such as von Hippel-Lindau disease, Birt Hogge Dube syndrome, etc.
- Smoking: Smoking also increases the risk of developing kidney cancer.
How is Kidney Cancer Diagnosed?
If you have any signs of kidney cancer, the doctor will review your medical history and will ask you about your signs. The doctor also conducts a physical examination. Along with this, the following tests may be performed to diagnose and assess kidney cancer:
- Blood and urine tests: Blood and urine tests help your doctor to know the cause of your signs.
- Imaging tests: Imaging tests such as ultrasound, CT scans, MRI, etc. can help your doctor to view the extent of the tumour.
- Biopsy: It is one of the common tests used to diagnose cancer. For this, a tissue sample will be collected to test under a microscope to look for the signs.
Staging of Kidney Cancer
Once the doctor determines that you have kidney cancer, the doctor then determines the stage of kidney cancer and it is called staging. Kidney cancer is divided into four stages based on the size, location of the tumour, and how much the cancer has spread. It is important to know the stage of kidney cancer before determining the course of treatment.
Treatment for Kidney Cancer
The treatment for kidney cancer is based on the stage and extent of the condition. Surgery is the most common treatment for kidney cancer. Surgery involves removing the affected portion of the kidney. If the cancer has spread to other parts of the body, the doctor may recommend additional treatments.
Other non-surgical options include:
- Radiofrequency ablation
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