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You have two kidneys. They are fist-sized organs on either side of your backbone above your waist. The tubes inside filter and clean your blood, taking out waste products and making urine. Kidney cancer forms in the lining of tiny tubes inside your kidneys.

Kidney cancer becomes more likely as you age. Risk factors include smoking, having certain genetic conditions, and misusing pain medicines for a long time.

You may have no symptoms at first. They may appear as the cancer grows. See your health care provider if you notice

  • Blood in your urine
  • A lump in your abdomen
  • Weight loss for no reason
  • Pain in your side that does not go away
  • Loss of appetite

Tests to diagnose kidney cancer include blood, urine, and imaging tests. You may also have a biopsy.

Treatment depends on your age, your overall health and how advanced the cancer is. It might include surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation, biologic, or targeted therapies. Biologic therapy boosts your body's own ability to fight cancer. Targeted therapy uses substances that attack cancer cells without harming normal cells.

NIH: National Cancer Institute

Symptoms of Kidney Cancer

The following features are indicative of Kidney Cancer:
  • hematuria
  • back pain
  • weight loss
  • fatigue
  • intermittent fever
  • tiredness
  • heavy sweating
It is possible that Kidney Cancer shows no physical symptoms and still be present in a patient.

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Common Causes of Kidney Cancer

The following are the most common causes of Kidney Cancer:
  • DNA mutations
  • family history of kidney disease

Risk Factors for Kidney Cancer

The following factors may increase the likelihood of Kidney Cancer:
  • older age
  • smoking
  • obesity
  • hypertension
  • had kidney failure treatment
  • inherited syndromes
  • family history of kidney cancer

Prevention of Kidney Cancer

Yes, it may be possible to prevent Kidney Cancer. Prevention may be possible by doing the following:
  • quit smoking
  • maintaining healthy weight
  • maintaining healthy blood pressure

Occurrence of Kidney Cancer

Number of Cases

The following are the number of Kidney Cancer cases seen each year worldwide:
  • Not common between 50K - 500K cases

Common Age Group

Kidney Cancer can occur at any age.

Common Gender

Kidney Cancer can occur in any gender.

Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Kidney Cancer

The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Kidney Cancer:
  • Blood and urine tests: To detect the cause of signs and symptoms
  • Imaging tests: Ultrasound, computerized tomography (CT) scan or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to visualize kidney tumor or abnormality
  • Biopsy: To look for signs of cancer

Doctor for Diagnosis of Kidney Cancer

Patients should visit the following specialists if they have symptoms of Kidney Cancer:
  • Oncologist
  • Nephrologist

Complications of Kidney Cancer if untreated

Yes, Kidney Cancer causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Kidney Cancer is left untreated:
  • hypertension
  • high calcium levels in blood
  • high red blood cell count
  • liver problems
  • spreading of cancer

Procedures for Treatment of Kidney Cancer

The following procedures are used to treat Kidney Cancer:
  • Nephrectomy: To remove the affected kidney
  • Nephron-sparing surgery: To remove the tumor from kidney
  • Cryoablation: To remove small kidney tumors
  • Radiofrequency ablation: To remove small kidney tumors
  • Radiation therapy: To control symptoms of kidney cancer that has spread to other areas of the body

Self-care for Kidney Cancer

The following self-care actions or lifestyle changes may help in the treatment or management of Kidney Cancer:
  • Regular exercise: Do regular exercise to maintain physical and mental health
  • Eat healthy diet: Develop healthy eating habits

Patient Support for Treatment of Kidney Cancer

The following actions may help Kidney Cancer patients:
  • Family support: Helps in reducing the anxiety levels of cancer patients
  • Cancer support group: Emotional support by talking to a cancer survivor with similar treatment

Last updated date

This page was last updated on 2/04/2019.
This page provides information for Kidney Cancer.

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