March 25, 2021
Kidney cancer, often known as renal cancer, is among the top ten most common cancers diagnosed in the United States. Sitting in eighth spot, this cancer accounts for more than four percent of all new cancers diagnosed, according to the National Cancer Institute (NCI). According to the American Cancer Society, around 81,800 Americans will be diagnosed with kidney cancer this year.
That’s a lot, which is why it is important to know all you can about recognizing this disease. Join us as we learn about the warning signs, symptoms, and other factors that can help you understand this disease.
Kidneys are a set of bean shaped organs that are located on either side of the spine, which filter blood and remove the excess water, salt, and other materials from the body. The majority of the fluid traveling through the kidneys runs through renal tubules; small tubes that assist with filtering out the impurities before the fluid is sent to the bladder as urine.
The most common form of kidney tumor often begins with the cells that make up the renal tubules, which is why this cancer is often called renal cancer.
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Kidney cancer is caused by mutated DNA from cells in one or both of the kidneys, causing uncontrolled cell division and growth. While the exact cause of this disease may not be known, there are many risk factors that are linked with kidney cancer. These risks range from lifestyle choices to genetics.
Some known risk factors for kidney cancer include:
Being overweight, especially when due to high fat diets, can increase your risk.
As many know, use of and exposure to tobacco has shown huge increases in cancer.
If the environment that you live or work in has exposed you to substances such as Asbestos or Cadmium, you may have an increased risk of developing this disease.
Those who require the help of long-term dialysis due to their kidneys being unable to filter blood are at risk.
The strain of high blood pressure on the kidneys can increase your odds of having this cancer.
When you have a family history of kidney cancer or other kidney-related diseases, your odds of developing this disease increase.
Inherited genetic conditions can also increase your risks. These conditions include:
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This cancer is typically difficult to find in the early stages. Usually, kidney cancer is only found early when seen on an X-ray or Ultrasound that had been ordered for other reasons. It is difficult to diagnose early for many reasons. One of the main reasons is the location of the kidneys. Located deep inside the body, many early warning signs for other forms of cancer can be overlooked or simply impossible to notice with kidney cancer.
Many individuals only discover that they have kidney cancer through hematuria, or blood in the urine. Hematuria makes the urine appear rusty or even dark red.
Other common signs of kidney cancer include:
If you show the above symptoms, your doctor has many tools at their disposal to discover if you have developed cancer. Lab tests, such as urinalysis and advanced genomic testing, are fairly noninvasive options. Doctors may also use imaging tests, such as CT scans, MRIs, and PET/CT, which allow the doctor to get a glimpse inside the body. Another option that doctors have is performing a biopsy. Biopsies are a minor surgical procedure that allows your doctor to take a sample from a tumor to determine if it is cancerous or not.
There are several treatment options for kidney cancer, which may be recommended based on the stage and type of cancer, as well as the patient's overall health. The main kidney cancer treatment includes:
Kidney cancer can be treated successfully if it is diagnosed in its early stages. The 5-year survival rate for localized kidney cancer (cancer that has not spread beyond the kidneys) is 93%. Therefore, individuals, especially those who are at risk, should be well aware of the signs and consult a doctor immediately if they experience any symptoms. For any queries or concerns about kidney cancer, contact ACTC, amongst the best cancer treatment centers in Florida that offer personalized cancer care. Visit our website or contact us to schedule an appointment with our board-certified cancer care specialists.