Kidney Cancer: Types, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment

Know more about the causes, symptoms, types, and treatment of kidney cancer in detail.

3 min read
Hindi Female

According to doctors of Mayo Clinic, kidney cancer is caused when there is an abnormal growth of cells in the kidney tissue, meaning that the cells come together to form a mass called tumor. Cancer begins when there is a change in the cells, and they begin to multiply uncontrollably.

A cancerous tumor begins to spread to other tissues and vital organs and this process is known as metastasis. According to the research, kidney cancer is prevalent in people between the age 65 and 74.

Know about the causes, symptoms, types, diagnosis and treatment of kidney cancer in detail.


Kidney Cancer Types

  • Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is most common form of kidney cancer that counts for 85% of all kidney cancers. It results in development of a single tumor in one kidney but it may affect both the kidneys as well. This types of kidney cancer begins in the cells that line your kidney’s tubules.

  • Transitional cell cancer accounts for 6% to 7% of all kidney cancers and it begins in the area around the ureter, also known as renal pelvis. This type of cancer can also affect the ureters or bladder.

  • Renal sarcoma is a rare type of kidney cancer, only 1% of kidney cancer cases are of this type. It begins in the connective tissues of the kidneys and can spread to nearby organs and bones if the treatment is not provided at the right time.

  • Wilms tumor is also a common type of kidney cancer but it majorly affects the children.

Kidney Cancer: Signs & Symptoms 

According to the doctors of Cleveland Clinic, few cases of kidney cancer may not show any symptoms in the early stages but as the tumor grows- the symptoms begin to appear. The symptoms for kidney cancer include:

  • Blood in your pee

  • A growing mass in your kidney area.

  • Fatigue

  • Loss of appetite

  • Weight loss

  • Mild fever.

  • Pain in the bones

  • Hypertension

  • Anemia

  • High levels of calcium


Kidney Cancer: Causes & Risk Factors 

According to Healthline, there is no exact cause of kidney cancer but few things increase the chances of kidney cancer and they are:

  • People who smoke have increased risk of suffering from kidney cancer and longer the person smokes, more his chances of suffering from kidney cancer increases.

  • Obesity is a risk factor for kidney cancer.

  • Hypertension or high blood pressure has also been linked to an increased risk of kidney cancer.

  • If you have anyone in your family with kidney cancer, they have an increased risk of suffering from the same.

  • Women who have undergone radiation therapy for cancer of their reproductive organs also have increased risk of developing kidney cancer.

  • Genetics and gene changes in genes also affect the cell function thus increasing the risk of kidney cancer.

  • Long-term dialysis treatment also increases the risk of kidney cancer.


kidney Cancer: Diagnosis 

According to PubMed Central, here are a few tests and diagnostic methods to know if a person is suffering from kidney cancer or not.

  • Urinalysis is a test in which a sample of your urine is tested to see if it contains traces of blood that may be invisible to the naked eyes.

  • Blood tests helps know the count of different kinds of blood cells, as well different electrolytes in your body that helps the doctors know if your kidney function is impaired.

  • CT scan helps create images of the inside of your body to identify impaired kidney function.

  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) helps produce images of the inside of your body with a magnet, radio waves or a computer.

  • Ultrasound helps in detecting tumors, which have a different density from healthy tissues.

  • Renal mass biopsy helps remove a small sample of your tissue and look at the tissue under a microscope to see if there are any cancer cells.

Kidney Cancer: Treatment 

A doctor may recommend surgery for most stages of kidney cancer and the options may include:

  • Partial nephrectomy in which the surgeon removes the part of your kidney that contains the tumor.

  • Radical nephrectomy in which the surgeon removes the entire kidney and the surrounding tissue or lymph nodes.

People who cannot undergo a surgery can use ablation as their option to treat kidney cancer.

  • Cryoablation is a process in which the surgeon inserts a needle through the skin into the kidney tumor and freezes the cancer cells with cold gas.

  • Radiofrequency ablation is a process in which the doctor inserts a needle through your skin into the kidney tumor and destroys the cancer cells with an electrical current.

Other treatment options include chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and immunotherapy and these methods are used to treat kidney cancer when the person has only one kidney and cannot undergo a surgery.

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Topics:  Kidney   Kidney Cancer   kidney disease 

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