- Kidney cancer is the abnormal growth of cells in your kidney tissue.
- In time, these cells form a mass called a tumor.
- Cancer begins when something triggers a change in the cells, and they divide out of control.
- A cancerous or malignant tumor can spread to other tissues and vital organs. When this happens, it’s called metastasis.
- Kidney cancer is most common in people between the ages of 65 and 74.
- Men are twice as likely as women to develop the disease.
- It’s also more common in Native American and Black populations.
Types of kidney cancer:-
There are different types of kidney cancer:-
- Renal cell carcinoma (RCC): This is the most common form of kidney cancer in adults and accounts for 85% of all kidney cancers.
- Renal cell carcinoma usually develops as a single tumor in one kidney, but it can affect both kidneys.
- The cancer begins in the cells that line your kidney’s tubules.
- The most common type of RCC is clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC).
- Transitional cell cancer: Transitional cell carcinoma accounts for 6% to 7% of all kidney cancers.
- This cancer usually begins in the area where your ureter connects to the main part of your kidney. This area is called your renal pelvis.
- Transitional cell carcinoma can also occur in your ureters or bladder.
- Renal sarcoma: This is the least common form of kidney cancer, accounting for only 1% of kidney cancer cases.
- It begins in the connective tissues of your kidneys and, if not treated, can spread to nearby organs and bones.
- Wilms tumor: This is the most common type of kidney cancer in children. It accounts for about 5% of kidney cancers.
Kidney cancer symptoms may include:-
- Blood in your pee (hematuria).
- A lump or mass in your kidney area.
- Flank pain.
- A general sense of not feeling well.
- Loss of appetite.
- Weight loss.
- Low-grade fever.
- Bone pain.
- High blood pressure.
- High calcium.
- Smoking: People who smoke are at greater risk for kidney cancer. In addition, the longer a person smokes, the higher the risk.
- Obesity: Obesity is a risk factor for kidney cancer. In general, the more overweight a person is, the higher the risk.
- High blood pressure: Also called hypertension, high blood pressure has been linked to an increased risk of kidney cancer.
- Family history: People who have family members with kidney cancer may have an increased risk of developing cancer themselves.
- Radiation therapy: Women who have been treated with radiation for cancer of their reproductive organs may have a slightly increased risk of developing kidney cancer.
- Gene changes (mutations): Genes contain instructions for a cell’s function. Changes in certain genes can increase the risk of developing kidney cancer.
- Long-term dialysis treatment: Dialysis is the process of cleaning your blood by passing it through a special machine. Dialysis is used when a person’s kidneys aren’t functioning properly.
- Tuberous sclerosis complex: Tuberous sclerosis is a disease that causes seizures and intellectual disabilities, as well as the formation of tumors in many different organs.
- Von Hippel-Lindau disease (VHL): People with this inherited disorder are at greater risk for developing kidney cancer. This disorder causes noncancerous tumors in your blood vessels, typically in your eyes and brain.
- Blood tests
- Ct scan
- Renal mass biopsy
Your healthcare provider uses information from various tests, including CT, MRI and biopsy, to determine the stage of cancer:-
- Stage I: The tumor is 7 centimeters (cm) across or smaller and is only in your kidney. It hasn’t spread to lymph nodes or other tissues.
- Stage II: The tumor is larger than 7 cm across but is still only in your kidney. It hasn’t spread to lymph nodes or other tissue.
- Stage III: The tumor has spread to your major blood vessels — your renal vein and inferior vena cava — or into the tissue surrounding your kidney or to nearby lymph nodes.
- Stage IV: The tumor has spread outside of your kidney to your adrenal gland or to distant lymph nodes or other organs.
- Kidney cancer treatment depends on the stage and grade of the tumor, as well as your age and overall health.
- Options include:-
- Radiation therapy
- Targeted drug therapy