While the causes of cancer remain largely unknown, certain factors can increase your risk of developing the disease. In this article, we'll explore some of the most common causes of kidney cancer and the available treatment options and prognoses for those affected by the disease.
What is kidney cancer?
Kidney cancer, sometimes called renal cancer, is cancer that begins in the cells of the kidney. The most common type of kidney cancer is renal cell carcinoma, which affects the lining of small tubes within the kidney. The American Cancer Society reports that "9 out of 10 kidney cancers are renal cell carcinomas."
What are the risk factors for kidney cancer?
Kidney cancer is more common in men than women, and the risk of kidney cancer increases with age. Other risk factors include:
- Family history of kidney cancer
- Exposure to certain chemicals
- Chronic kidney disease
What are the symptoms of kidney cancer?
The most common symptom of kidney cancer is a mass or tumor in the abdomen. Other symptoms may include:
- Unexplained weight loss
- Back pain on one side
- Blood in the urine
- Lump on lower back or side
It is important to note that, like most cancers, kidney cancer can go undetected for months or longer. Therefore, it is essential not to delay. Schedule an appointment to talk to your doctor when you have symptoms.
How is kidney cancer diagnosed?
Kidney cancer is most often diagnosed through imaging, typically with a CT scan or MRI. Your doctor may also order a biopsy to confirm the diagnosis.
What are kidney cancer treatments?
The most common treatment option for kidney cancer is surgery. Other kidney cancer treatments include:
- Targeted therapy
- Radiation therapy
- Clinical trials
The treatment for kidney cancer will be determined by the cancer stage, the tumor size, and the patient's overall health.
What is renal cancer care?
Renal cancer care is the medical and psychological care of patients with kidney cancer, including diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up. Renal cancer care also includes support for patients and their families.
What is the prognosis for kidney cancer?
The prognosis for kidney cancer is generally positive. Like most cancers, the key to a positive outcome is to catch cancer early and to receive prompt treatment. The National Institutes of Health report that patients have a 75% survival rate after five years with proper kidney cancer treatment.
A kidney cancer diagnosis may be both frightening and surprising. However, smoking cessation, proper diet, and immediate kidney cancer treatment can all help see you on the road to recovery.
For more information about kidney cancer, contact a local doctor