Kidney cancer

Definition 

Kidney cancer, also known as renal cancer, is a type of cancer that affects the kidneys, two bean-shaped organs located in the back of the abdomen. The kidneys are responsible for filtering waste products from the blood and maintaining electrolyte balance in the body.

Kidney cancer

Symptoms

Symptoms of kidney cancer can include:

  • Blood in the urine
  • Persistent pain in the back or side
  • A mass or lump in the lower back or side
  • Fatigue or weakness
  • Loss of appetite or weight loss
  • Anemia
  • Fever that comes and goes

Note

It’s important to note that these symptoms can also be caused by non-cancerous conditions, so it’s crucial to consult a doctor if you experience any of them.

Understand kidney cancer

Understanding kidney cancer involves understanding the anatomy and function of the kidneys and the different types of kidney cancer, causes, symptoms, and treatment options available.

Two organs in the shape of beans are the kidneys, which are in the back of the abdomen. Their main function is to filter waste products from the blood and maintain electrolyte balance in the body. They also produce hormones that regulate blood pressure and promote red blood cell production.

Kidney cancer, also known as renal cancer, occurs when cells in the kidneys grow uncontrollably and form a tumor. There are several types of kidney cancer, the most common being renal cell carcinoma, which accounts for about 90% of all kidney cancers. Other types include transitional cell carcinoma, Wilms tumor, and sarcoma.

The exact cause of kidney cancer is not known, but risk factors include smoking, obesity, high blood pressure, family history, long-term dialysis, and exposure to certain chemicals.

Symptoms of kidney cancer can include blood in the urine, persistent pain in the back or side, a lump or mass in the side or lower back, fatigue or weakness, loss of appetite or weight loss, anemia, and fever that comes and goes. However, it’s worth noting that these symptoms can also be caused by non-cancerous conditions, so it’s important to consult a doctor if you experience any of them.

When it comes to treatment, the options vary depending on the stage and type of kidney cancer. Surgery to remove the affected kidney is the most common treatment for early-stage kidney cancer. Radiation therapy and targeted therapy are also options. In advanced stages, treatment options are limited and may include palliative care to manage symptoms.

It’s important to note that early detection and treatment can greatly improve the prognosis for people with kidney cancer. Regular check-ups, monitoring kidney function, and being aware of any symptoms that may arise are important steps to take in order to detect any problems early on and increase the chances of successful treatment.

Causes

The exact cause of kidney cancer is not known, but there are several risk factors that increase a person’s likelihood of developing the disease. These include:

  • Smoking: Smokers are two to three times more likely to develop kidney cancer compared to non-smokers.
  • Obesity: Kidney cancer is more common in obese people.
  • High blood pressure:  Kidney cancer risk is raised by hypertension or high blood pressure.
  • Family history: If you have a family history of kidney cancer, your risk is increased.
  • Long-term dialysis: People who have been on dialysis for a long time have a higher risk of kidney cancer.
  • Exposure to certain chemicals: Exposure to certain chemicals such as cadmium and trichloroethylene has been linked to an increased risk of kidney cancer.

Stats

Around 144.4 thousand people in Italy had been diagnosed with kidney cancer by 2022. With 97,200 cases, the majority of those diagnosed were men. the state breakdown of kidney disease deaths in the United States in 2020. Texas had the highest number of kidney disease deaths of any state in the United States that year—4,400.

Kidney cancer

Preventing kidney cancer

Preventing kidney cancer can be difficult as the exact cause of the disease is not known. However, there are several steps you can take to reduce your risk of developing the disease. These include:

  • Not smoking: Smoking is a significant risk factor for kidney cancer and quitting can significantly reduce your risk.
  • Maintaining a healthy weight: Obesity is a risk factor for kidney cancer and maintaining a healthy weight can reduce your risk.
  • Controlling high blood pressure: High blood pressure is a risk factor for kidney cancer and controlling it through lifestyle changes and medication can reduce your risk.
  • Eating a healthy diet: Eating a diet that is high in fruits and vegetables and low in red meat and processed foods may lower your risk of kidney cancer.
  • Limiting your exposure to certain chemicals: Certain chemicals such as cadmium and trichloroethylene have been linked to an increased risk of kidney cancer. Limiting your exposure to these chemicals can reduce your risk.
  • Being aware of your family history: If you have a family history of kidney cancer, your risk is increased. Talking to your doctor about your family history and any potential genetic risk factors can help you make informed decisions about your health.
  • Monitoring your kidney function: Regular monitoring of kidney function through blood and urine tests can help detect any problems early on.

It’s important to note that these are not guaranteed ways to prevent kidney cancer, but by following these guidelines you can reduce your risk. Also, it’s crucial to consult a healthcare professional for any questions or concerns you may have about your health and for regular checkups.

If cancer is diagnosed

If kidney cancer is diagnosed early, treatment options include surgery to remove the affected kidney, radiation therapy, and targeted therapy. However, in advanced stages, treatment options are limited and may include palliative care to manage symptoms.

Reduce risk kidney cancer

It’s important to take steps to reduce your risk of kidney cancer. This includes not smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, and controlling high blood pressure. It’s also important to be aware of the symptoms of kidney cancer and to consult a doctor if you experience any of them.

It’s crucial to consult with a healthcare professional for proper diagnosis and treatment options, as well as for more in-depth information and any question you may have.

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