Kidney cancer is a form of cancer that originates in the kidneys. The two most common types of kidney cancer are renal cell carcinima (RCC) and urothelial cell carcinoma (UCC). Those names reflect the type of cell that the cancer develops on. There are numerous other types of kidney cancers such mesoblastic nephroma, teratoma, and Wilms tumor which usually only occurs in children under the age of five. These other types of kidney cancer are much rarer than renal cell and urothelial cell carcinoma.
In the early stages of kidney cancer the symptoms are rarely apparent at first. The symptoms of kidney cancer aren’t shown until its later stages. If you have kidney cancer you may see blood in your urine. The color of your urine will appear pink, red or even cola colored. Another symptom of kidney cancer is back pain that just won’t go away. Kidney cancer manifest its symptoms through back pain because the kidneys are located on the lower abdomen. Other symptoms might include weight loss, fatigue, and intermittent fever. Of course most of these symptoms could also be symptoms of other conditions. The only surefire way to know if you have kidney cancer is to be diagnosed by your doctor. You should make an appointment with your doctor if you display one or more of these symptoms that worry you.
No one knows the exact causes of kidney cancer. The cell mutations that cause kidney cancer generally develop most often in people over forty. While the cause of kidney cancer has yet to be pinpointed research has found that there are some risk factors that could contribute to one person being more likely to develop it than others. Smoking, obesity, and high blood pressure are health concerns that can lead to numerous things including kidney cancer. People who have been on a long term dialysis treatment are found to be more at risk for kidney cancer. People in certain occupations that come into contact with certain chemicals on a daily basis are at higher risk of kidney cancer. Especially workers exposed to asbestos or cadmium.
The treatment for someone with kidney cancer will include radiation therapy, biological therapy, chemotherapy, arterial embolization, and even surgery. All the forms of treatment, with the exception of surgery, aim to fight the cancer by shrinking the cancerous tumor developing on the kidney. The most common form of treatment is surgery. Surgery removing the kidney is called nephrectomy. A person might have a radical nephrectomy where the whole kidney and surrounding glands are removed, a simple nephrectomy where only the kidney is removed, or a partial neprectomy where only a portion of the kidney is removed.
Kidney cancer is a disease that affects thousands of people every year. The death rate of kidney cancer has gone down slightly since the 1990’s. There’s hope that with the right treatment a full recovery can be made from kidney cancer.