14 Jul Kidney Cancer
Dr. Navneet Sharda provides this information as an educational source. It is not intended as a substitute for a consultation with a qualified healthcare provider.
Kidney cancer is cancer that originates in the kidneys. The kidneys are a pair of organs in the lower abdominal region, about the size of an average human fist and shaped like beans. It is one of the major organs of our body and is susceptible to cancer under certain conditions. The incidence of developing kidney cancer is increasing over time, but exact reasons are still unknown. In adults, the most common type of kidney cancer is renal cell carcinoma. Other less common types of kidney cancer can occur. Transitional cell carcinoma, which affects the ureters, can also begin in the kidneys. As per Dr. Nav Sharda, Children are more likely to develop a kind of kidney cancer called Wilms‘ tumor.
- In its earlier stages, the kidney cancer rarely has any apparent symptoms or signs. However, in later stages of kidney cancer, there are a number of symptoms indicating a grave damage of the organ such as
- Blood in your urine, which may appear pink, red or cola colored
- Back pain just below the ribs that doesn’t go away
- Weight loss
- Intermittent fever
It’s not clear what causes renal cell carcinoma. Doctors know that kidney cancer begins when some kidney cells acquire mutations in their DNA. The mutations tell the cells to grow and divide rapidly. The accumulating abnormal cells form a tumor that can extend beyond the kidney. Some cells can break off and spread (metastasize) to distant parts of the body
Diagnosing kidney cancer
Tests and procedures used to diagnose kidney cancer include:
* Blood and urine tests. Tests of your blood and your urine may give your doctor clues about what’s causing your signs and symptoms.
* Imaging tests. Imaging tests allow your doctor to visualize a kidney tumor or abnormality. Imaging tests might include ultrasound, computerized tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
* Removing a sample of kidney tissue (biopsy). In very selected cases, your doctor may recommend a procedure to remove a small sample of cells (biopsy) from a suspicious area of your kidney. Because surgery is usually the first line treatment for kidney cancer and a kidney biopsy carries the risk of a “false-negative,” doctors usually forgo kidney biopsy. Kidney biopsy is typically reserved for cases that are most likely to be noncancerous or for people who can’t undergo an operation.
Kidney cancer staging
Once your doctor diagnoses kidney cancer, the next step is to determine the extent, or stage, of the cancer. Staging tests for kidney cancer may include additional CT scans or other imaging tests your doctor feels are appropriate.
Then your doctor assigns a number, called a stage, to your cancer. Kidney cancer stages include:
- Stage I. At this stage, the tumor can be up to 2 3/4 inches (7 centimeters) in diameter. The tumor is confined to the kidney.
- Stage II. A stage II kidney cancer is larger than a stage I tumor, but is still confined to the kidney.
- Stage III. At this stage, the tumor extends beyond the kidney to the surrounding tissue or the adrenal glands, and may also have spread to a nearby lymph node.
- Stage IV. Cancer spreads outside the kidney, to multiple lymph nodes or to distant parts of the body, such as the bones, brain, liver or lungs
As per Dr. Nav Sharda, Depending on the type of kidney cancer, an overall health check up or a complete body scan is often necessary to ensure the spread of cancer to other parts of the body. There are several treatment options which can be followed. Some of these options include surgery in which the affected kidney is removed known as a nephrectomy, or surgery where only the tumor is removed is known as nephron-sparing surgery. There is also a technique of blocking the blood flow to the tumor known as embolization. Other methods are freezing the cancer cells, known as cryoablation, and taking drugs to fight the cancer are some of the possible biological treatments.
Taking steps to improve your health may help reduce your risk of kidney cancer. To reduce your risk, try to:
- Quit smoking. If you smoke, quit. Many options for quitting exist, including support programs, medications and nicotine replacement products. Tell your doctor you want to quit, and discuss your options together.
- Eat more fruits and vegetables. Add more fruits and vegetables to your diet. A variety of fruits and vegetables helps ensure that you’re getting all the nutrients that your body needs. Replacing some of your snacks and side dishes with fruits and vegetables may help you lose weight.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Work to maintain a healthy weight. If you’re overweight or obese, reduce the number of calories you consume each day and try to exercise most days of the week. Ask your doctor about other healthy strategies to help you lose weight.
- Control high blood pressure. Ask your doctor to check your blood pressure at your next appointment. If your blood pressure is high, you can discuss options for lowering your numbers. Lifestyle measures such as exercise, weight loss and diet changes can help. Some people may need to add medications to lower their blood pressure. Discuss your options with your doctor.
- Reduce or avoid exposure to environmental toxins. If you work with toxic chemicals, take special precautions such as wearing a mask and heavy gloves. In the United States, your employer is required to tell you what chemicals you may be exposed to on the job. Follow your employer’s safety procedures, and ask your doctor if there are other ways to protect yourself from chemical exposure.
Cancer Care Centers is located in Las Vegas under the supervision of Cancer Specialist Dr. Nav (Navneet) Sharda. Cancer Care Centers specialize in treatment of various types of cancers like multiforme, meningioma, tonsil, tongue, laryngeal, parotid, neck, lung, breast, lymphoma, non hodgkins lymphoma, hodgkins disease, hodgkins lymphoma, skin cancer, melanoma, esophageal, gastric, pancreatic, colon, renal, kidney, ovarian, sarcoma, uterine cancer, cervical cancer, vaginal, brain, breast, vulvar cancer, bone metastasis, bone, osteosarcoma, endometrial cancercarcinoma, tumor, malignant and cancerous Cancers. We offer threapy like chemotherapy, radiotherapy, radiation therapy, radiation oncology, oncology, oncologist, immunotherapy, brachytherapy, stereotactic radiosurgery, IMRT, intensity modulated radiation therapy, conformal therapy, anaplastic astrocytoma, gioblastoma.