What is Kidney Cancer (Renal)?

Kidney (Renal) Cancer

Kidney cancer (Renal Cancer)

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There are two kinds of kidney cancer, renal cell carcinoma and renal pelvis carcinoma. The first one, renal cell carcinoma is a cancer that affects the tubes that filters the blood and takes away the waste in the body. The renal pelvis carcinoma occurs in the middle of the kidneys where the urine is collected. Smoking, obesity, and high blood pressure put you at risk for kidney cancer.

Signs of Kidney (Renal) Cancer

There are usually no symptoms in the initial stages of kidney cancer. A tumor in the kidneys can sometimes grow in size before it starts to cause any problems. Contact a physician if you experience any of the following symptoms.

  • Finding blood in your urine is a common symptom. You won’t necessarily feel any pain while urinating even if you do find blood.
  • Any kind of lump or mass in the area of the abdomen should be checked out.
  • Severe pain in the back and flank (side area) are signs of kidney trouble.
  • If you have a fever for any length of time consult your doctor.
  • Dark colored or brown urine means something is wrong.

Treatment Options

A diagnosis of kidney (renal) cancer can be determined by a physical exam. Blood tests and a urine analysis can also show signs of trouble with the kidneys. To fine tune the process an intravenous pyelogram is where a dye is injected so that the kidneys can be viewed by x-ray. A CAT scan can deliver detailed shots of the kidneys and an ultrasound test can show any cysts or tumors on the kidneys. Determining the stage of the cancer in the kidney will help find the appropriate application to implement.

  • Surgery is offered in a variety of levels. A radical nephrectomy is where the kidney, the adrenal gland, and surrounding tissue are removed.
  • Another form of surgery simply removes the cancerous kidney.
  • Small tumors can be removed along with the part of the kidney they are affecting in a partial nephrectomy.
  • There is a process called arterial embolization that actually shrinks the tumor. This could also be done before surgery to make a surgical procedure easier to perform.
  • Radiation can be implemented on a regular basis to work on killing the cancer cells.
  • Chemotherapy uses powerful drugs to locate the cancerous cells and kill them.  This seems to be the least effective treatment for kidney cancer but many doctors still may offer it.