Kidney Cancer

Your kidneys are the bean-shaped organs situated in your lower back, on either side of your spine. They play an important role in the urinary process of your body by processing the liquids as they make their way to your bladder. The kidneys are responsible for filtering out the waste, which becomes urine, out of your body. If one or both kidneys become impaired through injury, infection, or kidney cancer, the process can become severely interrupted.

Symptoms and Causes of Kidney Cancer

This type of cancer, like many, rarely shows signs in its early stages. As it progresses, the first sign you may notice is blood in the urine. Blood in the urine can be caused by other disorders as well, so it is important to have a thorough evaluation. Other symptoms of kidney cancer can include pain on either or both sides of the lower back, a mass located near the kidneys, weight loss, and fever.

There are many types of kidney cancer, and what exactly causes each isn’t clear. There are risk factors that are present in many patients with this type of cancer, such as age. Most patients are over 60. Smoking, high blood pressure, obesity, exposure to certain toxins, and a history of dialysis for other kidney problems all increase a person’s chance of developing this cancer.

Kidney Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment

The first tests a doctor will perform are usually blood and urine tests. If a problem is detected, more complicated and invasive testing will be done. This can include an ultrasound, MRI, CT scan, or an IVP. An IVP is an intravenous pyelogram, where dye is injected into the veins and x-rays are taken. A biopsy of the tissue, or removal and testing of the mass are the only way to be completely sure that cancerous cells are present.

Treatment for cancer of these organs depends on each individual case. The location of the cancerous cells, as well as how far they have spread will determine if surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy is appropriate. Treatment plans will be developed in conjunction with the kidney specialist and cancer specialist, and aim to add long-term quality of life to the cancer patient.

Latest Article: American Cancer Society

The American Cancer Society was formed in 1913 by a team of 15 doctors and has grown, evolved, and helped countless people that have been diagnosed with cancer to the society we know today.  The American Cancer Society is the place that you should go to for any and all information on cancer.  They have a call center – the National Cancer Information Center - that is...

Related Articles: