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Kidney Cancer: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

This cancer occurs in the kidneys, the organs responsible for filtering the blood by removing excess salt, water and other components from the body. Later, these substances are transformed into urine and are expelled through the urethra after being stored in the bladder. The kidneys are responsible for regulating blood pressure and making a hormone known as renin. In addition, they have the function of producing a hormone that has an important role in the production of red blood cells.. Some bad habits like smoking or taking some medicines can increase the risk of kidney cancer. Among the symptoms that can alert of this type of cancer is the presence of blood in the urine, mass in the abdomen or loss of appetite. At FastlyHealwe invite you to find out what are the causes, symptoms and treatment of kidney cancer .

Kidney Cancer Types

  • The renal carcinoma is the most common type of kidney cancer, being responsible for 9 out of 10 cases. It can manifest as one tumor or more than one and the people who suffer the most are adults. Within this type of kidney cancer, there are other subtypes that should be taken into account when applying a treatment.
  • Transitional cell carcinoma . Its origin does not take place in the kidneys but the formation of cancer cells occurs in the renal pelvis and ureter. The renal pelvis is located in the upper part of the ureter, while it connects the kidneys with the bladder. This type of kidney cancer begins in transitional cells found in the renal pelvis and ureter.
  • Willms tumor . It is a type of tumor with a high presence in children. It involves the formation of cancer cells in the tissues of the kidneys and can spread to other organs such as the lungs, liver, bones or the brain.
  • There are benign tumors in the kidney, that is, they do not pose a risk of spreading to other organs of the body. However, they can grow in size and cause damage. These types of tumors are usually removed by surgery. The most common benign tumor is the renal adenoma and it is characterized by slow growth and small size.

Causes of kidney cancer

The exact causes of kidney cancer are not known. However, some changes have been observed that occur in normal cells, specifically in DNA, which can lead to its transformation into cancer cells. Two of the changes that could occur are inherited genetic mutations and acquired genetic mutations. The first is inherited from parents or other blood relatives, while the second are changes that occur throughout the life of the person.

There are a number of factors that increase the risk of kidney cancer:

  • Snuff . Smoking increases the risk of kidney cancer twice.
  • Sex and race . Black men and people are more likely to get kidney cancer.
  • Age . With the exception of Willms tumor, which occurs in children, kidney cancer is more common in adults.
  • Obesity . Overweight people have a higher risk of kidney cancer.
  • Family history . Some people are more likely to develop cancer by inheriting it from their parents, grandparents, etc.
  • Exposure to certain substances . Those people who are in contact with some substances in their workplace, such as the cadmium with which the metal is made and other components, could also increase the risk of developing the disease.
  • Some medications . Taking drugs containing phanecetin was banned because of its link to transitional cell carcinoma. Likewise, pain relievers and diuretics such as Ibuprofen or Aspirin may also increase the odds.

Kidney Cancer Symptoms

Symptoms vary depending on the type of kidney cancer the patient has. In its initial state, the cancer usually does not present detectable symptoms or that can be perceived by the patient. Despite the differences between the symptoms of different types of cancer, there are some in common:

  • Hematuria Presence of blood next to the urine that may or may not be accompanied by pain.
  • Weight loss for no apparent reason.
  • Loss of appetite
  • Pain in the lower back or side.
  • Exhausted.
  • Fever.
  • Anemia.

Kidney Cancer Treatment

Kidney cancer treatment will depend on the stage it is in. In stages I and II, the cancer is found within the kidney, while in stage III the cancer cells have been able to spread to the large veins or lymph nodes. When talking about stage IV, the cancer has spread to other organs in the body.

  • Surgery . It is the intervention that is most applied when treating kidney cancer. Whether it is a benign or malignant tumor, surgery is the most effective way to remove the tumor or tumors. Within the surgery, a nephrectomy can be performed, that is, removal of the tumor next to the kidney or part of it that can be partial or radical. It must be taken into account that many patients have overcome kidney cancer after having an entire kidney removed, since they can lead a normal life. In some cases, both kidneys have even been removed.
  • Chemotherapy . It is one of the best known treatments when talking about any type of cancer and its administration can be oral or intravenous. However, when it comes to kidney cancer, cancer cells are often resistant to chemotherapy treatment. On the other hand, it must be taken into account that depending on some factors, such as the age or state of health in which the patient is, he could not receive chemotherapy due to its side effects, so an alternative treatment should be considered.
  • Radiation therapy . It involves subjecting the patient to exposure to rays to fight cancer cells. It is one of the treatments that are applied in the event that the person cannot undergo surgery due to their health condition. Radiation therapy for kidney cancer is used primarily to relieve kidney cancer symptoms.
  • Targeted therapy . It consists of the administration of certain drugs with which the cells that cause cancer can be specifically fought. In cases of kidney cancer, this alternative is a good option when chemotherapy is ineffective, even if the root cancer is not cured.
  • Active surveillance . It is used mainly for people who have a type of tumor that does not involve much risk and you want to avoid performing treatment, especially in elderly people. It is based on regularly monitoring the cancer to monitor its growth.
  • Immunotherapy . It consists of administering a series of substances that make it possible to fight cancer cells by strengthening the immune system.

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Kidney cancer: causes, symptoms and treatment , we recommend that you enter our Kidneys and urinary system category .

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