What is Kidney Cancer ?
The cells in the kidney get cancerous forming a tumor and grow rapidly affecting the adrenal glands and other organs of the body like bones and lungs. Sometimes the cancer in the kidney could be because of metastasis. Metastasis is a phenomenon where the cancer that has primarily originated in another part of the body spreads and causes cancer in another area which is also termed as secondary cancer.
Role played by kidneys :
- It’s a two bean shaped organs centred in either sides of the backbone.
- It’s a part of urinary system.
- It filters excess amount of water, salts and waste products further converting them to urine.
- The urine so filtered passes through renal pelvis, uterus and then finally into the bladder and makes its way out
- They produce a hormone which improves the production of red blood cells and controls the calcium cells
Types of kidney cancers :
Renal Cell Carcinoma(RCC) :It is the most common form of kidney cancer. It affects the kidney’s nephrons. In very rare cases both the kidneys are affected. The other common type of kidney cancer is clear cell carcinoma apart from the other rare cancers such as oncocytic, sarcomatoid and papillary chromophobic kidney cancers.
Other cancers : Some other cancers affect the connective tissue, renal lymphoma in the kidneys lymphatic tissue and Wilm’s tumor which is most commonly seen in children more than adults.
Kidney cancer comes with no signs making it difficult to diagnose. The patient is usually diagnosed when he comes with other symptoms.
- Colour of the urine is rusty or brown
- Blood in the urine.
- Lump in the abdomen
- Pain in the abdomen or the lower back without any specific reason
- Fatigue and weight loss
- Swelling in the abdomen, ankles and the feet
- A high or low red blood cell count.
Causes and risk factors :
The causes for kidney cancer are yet to be found out, yet there are ceratin risk factors that may lead to cancer which can be checked Let’s see what they are
- People who smoke are more susceptible to kidney cancers
- Diuretics and Pain killers that have phenacetin
- Exposure to harmful chemicals such as asbestos, cadmium, lead, herbicides or organic solvents.
- A family history of kidney cancers
- Being obese will affect the hormonal function and can lead to cancer
- Hypertension is also a risk factor
- People with an advance kidney disease too can lead to cancer
Tests and diagnosis :
The symptoms are usually unnoticeable which takes you to an advance stage of kidney cancer by the time you reach out to a doctor. If the doctor finds the symptoms suspicious then you will be put on the following tests for affirmation and then followed by a treatment. The tests include blood and urine tests, cystoscopy, an ultrasound and tissue sampling.
Blood and urine tests
The blood in the urine is a major symptom. If the urine tests show any abnormalities like the presence of proteins etc. in abstract levels then that’s a confirmation that there is a problem in the kidney and with other tests you will be able to diagnose the actual problem.
Blood test :
A blood test result with high or low red blood cells is an indication of kidney cancer. High salt levels, calcium levels, high levels of enzymes are also the symptoms of kidney cancer.
Internal examination (Cystoscopy) :
If you have been bleeding blood along with urine then the doctor will investigate your baldder to see where the blood is coming from which is called as Cyctoscopy. He may also look inside the ureters by moving the Cystoscope till that area. This procedure is called as ureteroscopy.
Imaging tests :
The imaging tests determine the extent, the strength and other information of the disease. You will be asked to go for any of the below mentioned tests for better diagnosis of cancer.
An ultrasound is a painless imaging test that clicks pictures of the insides of your internal organs. This will show the presence of tumor or any other conditions of the kidney.
CT scan :
A CT scan detects the size, shape and position of the tumor, enlarged lymph nodes, primary and secondary cancer sites.
The scan might take around half an hour to 40 minutes after which you may go home without any issues. You will be asked to lie down on a table while the CT scanner moves around you.
MRI scans :
An MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scan takes about an hour to take cross section pictures of your body. It uses magnetic and radio waves to do so.
Chest x-ray :
A chest x-ray is painless procedure and is conducted to check if the organs and bones of the chest have been affected. This test can diagnose if the cancer has spread to the ribs and the lungs.
In certain cases the doctor may advice you for active surveillance. The usual treatments recommended for kidney cancer are drug treatment, radiofrequency ablation and surgery. For an advanced stage of cancer radiotherapy procedure is adopted.
Active surveillance :
An active surveillance will help you understand the tumor. It also enables you to take a decision on the kind of treatment that you may give your patient. A tumor that is as small as 4 cm will not pose problem immediately and in such cases this procedure will prevent a patient from talking unnecessary treatments and side effects thereafter.
Surgery is conducted on a patient considering various factors such as age, health, stage and the grade of the cancer. This treatment option is adviced when the cancer has not spread to other parts of the body. Yet the surgery is the main treatment for kidney cancer patients.
Types of surgery :
The surgery options are-
- Radical neprhectomy : Renal cell carcinoma patients will undergo a removal of kidney procedure and is the most common operation for kidney cancer patients.
- Partial nephrectomy : A small portion of the kidney is removed along with the cancerous area for renal cell carcinoma.
Seeking support :
Cancer has a dilapidating effect on a patient leading him to severe depression; anxiety fear etc. which will in turn affect the treatment. A doctor can help you come out of it. Talking to him will relieve you.
People are not bad. They will surely respond. Take help from your neighbour, a family member or a friend. They will help you out.
Cancer is such a disease that the moment you have heard that you have been diagnosed with one you tend to lose all the moral strength you have. There are treatments that has helped and cured many patients. Look around and talk to those people who have fought cancer. That will improve your will power.
Take good care of yourself. Have a healthy diet which has a combination of both fruits and vegetables. Exercise regularly. Get good amount of sleep.
A dream is meant to be lived and not to be left alone to die. Life is beautiful and when you have umpteen things to do in your life at most care has to be accorded to your health. As the saying goes prevention is better than cure - make certain lifestyle changes. It will improve the quality of your life. This will benefit you in achieving your goals and living your life to the fullest.
- Quit smoking in any form. There are rehabilitation centres and support groups who will help you to do so.
- Exercise regularly to avoid hypertension.
- Control your weight and practice a sport daily. It will rejuvenate your body.
- The exercise routine will discipline you and will only lead to a healthy life.
- Exposure to harmful chemicals can cause cancer. So, avoid it.
- If your own family member has been diagnosed with kidney cancer, it is better to get yourself checked as you too are prone to have kidney cancer.
Why choose KIMS ?
Hyderabad’s renowned and best surgical oncologists treat all forms of Kidney cancer at KIMS Hospital. It is rest assured that the best Kidney cancer treatment at Hyderabad is available at KIMS Hospital, Hyderabad. KIMS Hospital Kondapur and Secunderabad is considered as the best Kidney care hospital in Hyderabad offering best chemotherapy , surgical and radiation therapy treatments in Hyderabad. KIMS hospital is one of the very hospitals in India to have conducted successful Kidney transplantations in Hyderabad.