Kidney Cancer Treatment
Kidneys are bean-shaped organs located below the rib cage. They are essential organs of our body as they carry out four main vital functions. Their functions include maintaining fluid balance, removing waste products, controlling blood pressure, and producing hormones in the body.
Kidney cancer also called renal cancer begins when kidney cells become malignant and grow out of control, forming a tumour. In adults, the most common type of kidney cancer is renal cell carcinoma. However, most cancers get detected at an early stage which makes it easier to treat successfully.
The actual cause of kidney cancer is still not known but, factors such as smoking, obesity, kidney disease, genetic conditions, or a family history of kidney cancer increases the risk of kidney cancer.
Different types of kidney cancer
- Renal cell carcinoma (RCC)
It is one of the commonly found types of kidney cancer. Usually, it appears as a single tumour in one of the kidneys but will spread.
- Transitional cell carcinoma
It is a rare type of cancer that affects kidneys. Usually, this cancer begins from the renal pelvis and spread to kidneys. If left uncared, it can spread to other organs and bones.
- Renal Sarcoma
It accounts for one per cent of kidney cancer cases. It starts in the connective tissues of the kidneys.
- Wilms’ tumour
This form of kidney cancer is common in children.
In its early stages, kidney cancer may not show any significant symptoms. As cancer progresses, the following symptoms may be visible;
- Blood in urine
- A lump or mass in the kidney area
- Reduced appetite and weight
- Mild fever
- Bone pain
- Feeling sick
- High blood pressure
Risk factors that may make the condition worse
The risk factor of kidney cancer include:
- Gene changes (mutations)
- Family history
- History of tuberous sclerosis
- Long-term dialysis treatment
- Von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) disease
The most common treatment of kidney cancer is surgery. There are various surgical options which also include:
- Simple nephrectomy
In this type of kidney cancer treatment, a surgeon removes the kidney only.
- Partial nephrectomy
A surgeon uses partial nephrectomy to treat small kidney cancers. In this procedure, the surgeon removes cancer and a small margin of healthy tissue that surrounds it rather than the entire kidney.
- Radical nephrectomy
In this type of kidney cancer treatment, a surgeon removes the whole kidney, adrenal gland, and some tissues around the kidney. Some lymph nodes in the area may be removed as well.
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