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What Is Kidney Cancer?
Kidney cancer as the name suggests is the cancer type beginning from the kidneys. The kidneys are 2 bean shaped structures located behind our abdominals; each side of our spine has one kidney. Renal cell carcinoma is the most common kidney cancer type affecting adults. Another kidney cancer type that occurs much less frequently than renal cell carcinoma is transitional cell carcinoma, a cancer type mostly affecting the patient's ureters, but can also originate from kidneys. The kidney cancer type that is more common among children is known as Wilms tumor.
In the past two decades the number of cases of kidney cancer has increased significantly. The exact causes behind this are not known. A large share of kidney cancer cases get detected during diagnostic tests conducted for detecting other ailments. Kidney cancer is detected most frequently through imaging tests like CT scan.
What are the common kidney cancer symptoms? Kidney cancer usually doesn't show up any significant sign when the disease is still in an early stage. However, as the disease moves to its advance stages, the patient might experience the following symptoms:
- Persistent fatigue
- Unexplained weight loss
- Persistent pain in the back in the region just beneath the ribs
- Blood in urine
- Intermittent fever
Now let us know about the staging of kidney cancer. This cancer type can have the following stages:
Stage 1: In this stage, the tumor has dimension of 7 cm or 2 ¾ inches. To be more precise, the tumor in this stage of kidney cancer does not exceed the size of a regular tennis ball. In stage I, the cancer stay confined within the kidney.
Stage 2: In this stage, the tumor crosses the size of 7 cm; however, the cancer still stay confined within the kidney.
Stage 3: Stage 3 of kidney cancer can be marked by any one of the following features:
- The tumor stays confined within the kidney; however, the cancer cells invade the neighboring lymph nodes through lymphatic system.
- The tumor spreads into adrenal gland; traces of cancer cells might be found in the neighboring lymph nodes.
- Cancer cells might invade the large blood vessels adjacent to the kidneys; cancer might also affect the nearby lymph nodes.
Stage 4: In this stage the cancer cells spread beyond fibrous tissues surrounding the kidney; distant organs like lungs might also get affected by cancer in stage 4 of kidney cancer.
What Are the Causes of Kidney Cancer?
The common causes of kidney cancer include the following:
VHL or Von Hippel-Lindau disease: VHL disease in classified as an inherited genetic disease resulting in formation of multiple tumors in different parts of the body. Tumors caused by VHL disease often include tumors of renal cell carcinomas, a kidney cancer type. Von Hippel-Lindau disease occurs due to the mutation of VHL gene. In healthy individuals, VHL gene plays the role of tumor suppressor i.e. it controls cell growth for preventing formation of tumors. However, the VHL gene of individuals with Von Hippel-Lindau disease mutates and becomes non-functional resulting in formation of multiple tumors. Kidney cancer occurring due to VHL disease is mostly treated by removing the tumors or the ailing kidney surgically.
Kidney Cancer Metastasis
When an individual is diagnosed with kidney cancer, the first question that arises is in which stage the cancer is in. The doctor determines the stage of kidney cancer by checking the extent of kidney cancer metastasis. Once the stage of cancer is determined, the nest most essential thing that a doctor must find out is whether the cancer will be a slow growing one or aggressive in nature. The speed of kidney cancer metastasis depends on certain factors like general health of the patient, his age and the stage of the cancer during diagnosis.
The extent of kidney cancer spreading is judged by a procedure called grading. Grading involves comparing the healthy kidney cells with the cancerous cells of kidney. The kidney cancer cells of lower grade i.e. grade 1 or grade 2 look much the same as [...]
The 4 Stages of Kidney Cancer
The 4 stages of kidney cancer are as below:
Stage I: A person is said to be in stage I of kidney cancer when the kidney tumor is not bigger than 2.75 inches. During this stage of kidney cancer, the size of the tumor is generally similar to that of an average tennis ball. During the stage I, cancer cells stay localized within the affected kidney i.e. the cancer does not spread in other body parts of the patient.
Stage II: When the patient is in stage II, the kidney tumor becomes bigger than 2.75 inches. According to some medical experts, even though the size of the kidney tumor increases during stage II of the disease, the cancer does not move beyond the affected kidney. Some experts on the other hand state that the tumor in this stage of kidney cancer grows to reach the fatty tissues [...]
What Types of Kidney Cancer Surgery Are Available?
Renal cell carcinoma is the most common variety of kidney cancer found in adults. This type of cancer is most commonly treated by some form of kidney cancer surgery. Although there are other methods of treatment available to treat kidney cancer it is very unlikely to escape one form of surgical procedure or another at some point during your treatment. Even when the cancer has spread to other organs surgery may still be effective in removing the primary tumor that started it to begin with. In most cases the cancer may be effectively removed by removing part of the kidney. In other cases it may be necessary to remove the whole kidney as well as the adrenal glands which are located on top of the kidney and other tissue surrounding the kidney. Under most circumstances an individual is still able [...]
What Is The Kidney Cancer Survival Rate?
The number used to report a specific number of people who survive a disease is called a survival rate. The kidney cancer survival rate is the term used to report how many people have survived this type of cancer for a certain period of time. In most cases this amount of time refers to a period of five years. This rate shows how long a person has been known to survive after their initial diagnosis.
These rates are collected from large groups of individuals and are ineffective in determining what will happen in specific cases. The reason for this is because no two people are the same and may react to various treatments in very different ways. Basically what may work for one person may not work for someone else.
There are different factors used in determining a person’s kidney cancer survival [...]
What Are The Kidney Cancer Stages and How Is Each Treated?
Kidney cancer is a cancer that begins in the kidneys with the most common type being renal cell carcinoma. This disease affects the kidneys ability to properly produce and regulate the production of red blood cells. When too many red blood cells are produced it leads to the formation of tumors.
Because there are two types of tumors this may not lead to cancer in every situation. Benign tumors are tumors that are non cancerous and do not spread to other areas. These are generally easily removed and do not return. Malignant tumors however are cancerous and can and do spread or metastasize to other parts of the body. If not detected and treated these tumors can be life threatening.
There are four kidney cancer stages. Which stage is determined by the size and location of the tumor present [...]
How Is Kidney Cancer Diagnosed and Which Kidney Cancer Treatment Is Best For Me?
Kidney cancer is a type of cancer that starts in your kidneys. The most common type of kidney cancer found in adult cases is renal cell carcinoma. The kidneys are responsible for cleaning or filtering the blood and removing waste and excess water thus making urine as a way to expel these products from the body. The kidneys are also responsible for producing red blood cells. When the kidney produces more red blood cells than the body needs this can result in the formation of tumors.
Tumors can be either benign or malignant. Benign tumors are usually not life threatening and are fairly easy to get rid of whereas malignant tumors are much more difficult. Malignant tumors are cancerous and in some cases life threatening.
When a person is diagnosed with this disease there are several treatments [...]
How Do I Know What My Kidney Cancer Prognosis Is?
Kidney cancer prognosis is a medical term that is used by medical professionals to relay a person’s possibility of survival or cure once kidney cancer has diagnosed. The sooner the disease is discovered the better the prognosis will be.
Kidney cancer is a type of cancer that affects the kidneys which are responsible for making urine and producing red blood cells. When cells are produced unnecessarily it can cause an over abundance of cells and this in turn can lead to the formation of tumors.
There are essentially two types of tumors. These include benign and malignant. Benign tumors usually are not cancerous and are limited to one area. In most cases these can be removed and most likely will not return. Malignant tumors are generally cancerous and can be life threatening. These tumors [...]
Determining Kidney Cancer Symptoms
Cells are what make up the tissues or organs of the body. Cancer is a disease that begins in the cells. The type of cancer you have is determined by what parts of the body are affected. In the case of kidney cancer the kidneys are affected. The appearance of kidney cancer symptoms is your body’s way of letting you know there is a problem.
The kidneys are what the body uses to produce urine. It is also responsible for making substances that help to control blood pressure as well as producing red blood cells.
Under normal circumstances cells form and separate to produce new cells as the body has a need for them. When these cells get old they die and new ones replace them. When this happens it causes new cells to grow before they are needed and prevents old ones from dying when they should. [...]
Renal Cell Cancer: A General Outlook
Renal Cell Cancer is the outcome of malignancy occured in the cells of the tubules in the kidneys of the human body. Also commonly known as Kidney Cancer or Renal Adenocarcinoma, this condition occurs due to cancerous multiplication of cells in small thin tubules found in the kidney.
Kidneys are a pair of bean-shaped organs found in the lower abdomen in humans. The basic function of the kidney is purification of blood and helping the body in excreting waste and/or toxic products outside the body. The purification process leads to the formation of a yellowish fluid called urine having a slightly basic nature. The yellow color of the urine is due to the pigment Urinoid present in them. This urine passes through the Ureters, arising from the kidneys till the urethral orifice from where it is [...]