Understanding Kidney Cancer

Kidney cancer is one type of disease that can affect the kidneys. There are three general types of kidney cancers that can affect humans. The most common is called renal cell carcinoma which usually starts from the cells that line the tubes inside the kidneys.

There is also the transitional cell carcinoma which forms in the tissue that forms the tubes connecting the kidney to the bladder. Another type of kidney cancer called Wilm’s tumor usually develops in children and rarely affects adults.

Causes of kidney cancer

The primary cause of why cells in the kidneys become cancerous is not entirely known. Researchers have yet to discover what may be causing this or why and how it develops. But there are some factors that researchers consider may be attributed to the development of kidney cancer.

It is believed that smoking may greatly increase the risk of developing renal cell carcinoma. Inhalation of certain chemicals is believed to be a causal factor in the development of kidney cancer especially in women. Certain kidney disorders may also increase the risk of developing kidney cancer.

Symptoms of kidney cancer

Kidney cancer do not usually provide any visible symptoms during its initial stages. The symptoms that kidney cancers usually display happen only during the late stages of the disease. Most of the time, the symptoms appear at a time when the disease may already have advanced beyond it curative stage.

One of the most common sign or symptom for kidney cancer is blood in the urine which can make it appear pink, red or brownish in color. Other symptoms associated with kidney cancer include persistent back pain usually located just below the ribs, weight loss, fatigue and fever.

How kidney cancer is diagnosed?

The diagnosis for kidney cancer initially begins with a physical examination and a review of one’s medical history.

Blood and urine tests may also be made to provide a better analysis and assessment. If the doctor suspects kidney cancer or the increasing risk of its development, other tests may also be proposed.

Other tests that may be made to diagnose kidney cancer include taking ultrasounds and X-rays of the internal organs, a CT or MRI scan, cytoscopy as well as taking a biopsy or tissue sample for further testing.

How to prevent kidney cancer?

Although the cause of kidney cancer remains unknown, there are certain preventive measures that may help lessen the risk of developing the disease.

Improving one’s health can be a good way of trying to prevent the development of various forms of cancers, including one that affects the kidneys.

Quitting smoking is also one way of lessening the cancer risk as well as maintaining a healthy weight, eating a balanced diet, and reducing exposure to harmful chemicals known to cause cancer.

How to treat kidney cancer?

There are various forms of treatment that can be recommended to combat kidney cancer. But its effectiveness would depend upon the diagnosis as well as on the other factors that might include general health and the type of kidney cancer a patient has.

Treatment options include surgical removal of tumors, radiation therapy, chemotherapy as well as relatively new treatments such as stem cell transplants.