For Doctors Emergency Care Medikoe LogoDr Specialisation
Book AppointmentHealth HubMedicommunity
Home > Health Hub > Article > Kidney Cancer

Kidney Cancer

Medikoe Health Expert

Medikoe Health Expert

  Koramangala, bengaluru, karnataka, india, Bengaluru     Feb 9, 2017

   6 min     



The kidneys are organs in our body which are two bean-shaped organs, each about the size of your fist. They're positioned behind your abdominal organs, one kidney on each side of your spine. There are small tubes in the kidneys known as tubules which that assist in getting rid of waste and also helps in controlling fluid balance.

Kidney cancer arises in the kidneys. In adults, Renal Cell Carcinoma (RCC) is the most widespread type of kidney cancer — about 90% of cancerous tumours. It is also known as hypernephroma, renal adenocarcinoma, or renal or kidney cancer.  

Other few common types of kidney cancer can also occur. Young children are more inclined to exhibit a kind of kidney cancer called Wilms' tumour. 

RCC or Renal cell carcinoma occurs when cancer cells start growing uncontrollably in the lining of tubules of the kidney. RCC often spreads to the lungs and surrounding organs. 

Medical experts don't know the exact cause of RCC. It is generally found in males between the ages of 50-70 but can be diagnosed in anyone. 

Symptoms of Kidney Cancer

Kidney cancer rarely causes any signs or symptoms in its initial stages. And presently, there are no conventional tests used to screen for kidney cancer in the nonexistence of signs. In the later stages, kidney cancer signs may include:

  • Blood in your urine, which may appear pink, red or cola coloured

  • Loss of appetite

  • Tiredness

  • Pain in your back or side that doesn't go away

  • Fever, which usually comes and goes (intermittent)

  • Lump in the abdomen

  • Unexplained weight loss

  • Fatigue

  • Vision problems

  • Excessive hair growth (in women). 

Causes of Kidney Cancer

It's not known that what causes renal cell cancer, which is the most typical form of kidney cancer, though there are numerous risk factors. 

Doctors know that kidney cancer occurs when some kidney cells receive mutations in their DNA. The mutations indicate the cells to grow and divide rapidly. The accumulating abnormal cells build a tumour that can reach beyond the kidney. Some cells can break off and spread to other parts of the body (metastatic renal cell carcinoma).

There are few risk factors for the disease which include, any family history of RCC, dialysis treatment, hypertension, obesity, smoking, cyst in kidneys (polycystic kidney disease), Von Hippel-Lindau disease, overmedication of certain drugs and medications for fever and pain relief. 

Prevention of Kidney Cancer

Apprehending measures to improve your health may help diminish your risk of kidney cancer. To decrease your risk, you need to try to:

  • Quit smoking. If you smoke, then you have to quit it. Many alternatives for quitting are present that involves support programs, medications and nicotine replacement products. Consult your doctor to quit smoking and discuss the solutions together.
  • Sustain a healthy weight. You require to work on maintaining a healthy weight. If you're overweight or obese, lessen the number of calories you take every day and try to be physically active most days of the week. Talk to your doctor about other healthy procedures to help you lose weight.
  • Control high blood pressure. You need to check your blood pressure at timely appointments with your doctor. If your blood pressure is high, you can ask for the options for dropping your numbers. 

Lifestyle changes such as exercise, weight loss and dietary regimes can help. Some people may require to combine medications to lower their blood pressure. 

Diagnosis of Kidney Cancer

There are many tests for the diagnosis of RCC:

  • Blood and urine tests. Blood tests and also your urine tests may provide your doctor with evidence about what's generating such signs and symptoms in you.

  • Imaging tests. Imaging tests permit your doctor to visualise a kidney tumour or any deformity. Imaging tests might incorporate an ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computerised tomography (CT) scan.

  • Biopsy. The process of removing a sample of kidney tissue is termed as a biopsy. In rare cases, your doctor may suggest a procedure to separate a small sample of cells from a dubious area of your kidney. The sample is examined in a lab to look for signs of cancer. 

Kidney Staging

If you are exposed to have RCC or renal cell carcinoma or kidney cancer, more test will be incorporated to figure out if and where cancer has spread, which is called staging. 

RCC is staged from 1 to 4, in order of rising severity. Staging tests can include a bone scan, PET scan, and chest X-ray, after which your doctor assigns a number or a stage, to your cancer. 

  • Stage I. At this stage, the tumour is up to 2 3/4 inches, i.e. about 7 centimetres in diameter. The tumour is restricted to the kidney.

  • Stage II. At this stage, kidney cancer is more significant than a stage I tumour, but it's still restricted to the kidney.

  • Stage III. At stage III, the tumour enlarges beyond the kidney to the encircling tissue and may also have expanded to nearby lymph nodes.

  • Stage IV. At stage IV, cancer reaches outside the kidney, to multiple lymph nodes or distant parts of your body, such as the bones, liver or lungs. 

Treatments for Renal Cell Carcinoma

There are some conventional treatments for RCC. One or more may be employed to treat your cancer.

  • Surgery: There are numerous methods involved in the surgery. In a partial nephrectomy, a section of the kidney is removed while in nephrectomy, the entire organ may be excluded. Depending on how greatly the disease has expanded, more extensive surgery may be demanded to eliminate surrounding tissue, lymph nodes, and even your adrenal gland. This process is a radical nephrectomy. Dialysis or transplant is needed if both of the kidneys are removed.

  • Radiation Therapy: It involves the use of high-energy X-rays to destroy cancer cells.

  • Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy works on drugs to kill cancer cells. This therapy can be given either orally or intravenously.

  • Biologic therapy: It is also known as immunotherapy which operates with your immune system to combat cancer. Enzymes or other substances that are made by your body are used to protect you against cancer. 

  • Targeted therapy: Targeted therapy is the latest technique of cancer therapy. Drugs are utilised to attack specific cancer cells without impairing healthy cells.

  • Clinical trials: Clinical trials inquire new treatments to examine if they are competent in treating the disease. Throughout the trial, you will be strictly monitored, and you can leave the trial at any moment. Discuss with your treatment unit to see if a clinical trial is a viable alternative for you. 

Are you looking for a health expert around you?

Medikoe is a platform that helps you connect with certified and experienced doctors or healthcare practitioners near you for the best in class medical advice and treatment.

Have a quick question? Get your health-related questions answered for free by experts within 24 hours on Medikoe. Download Medikoe's Mobile app and book an appointment with a doctor for free. 

Tags:  cancer,Renal Cell Carcinoma, Kidney Cancer, renal cancer

Note: We at Medikoe provide you with the best healthcare articles written and endorsed by experts of the healthcare industry to boost you knowledge. However, we strongly recommend that users consult a doctor or concerned service provider for expert diagnosis before acting on this information.

  6 Likes |    0 Comments |    1 Share |    411 Views