A Identifying guide to Kidney Cancer symptoms & treatment

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A Identifying guide to Kidney Cancer symptoms & treatment

What is Kidney Cancer?

Our kidneys are responsible for filtering our blood. A mass (growth or tumor) can occur inside a kidney from time to time. In order for our blood to filter, we need our kidneys. Sometimes, a kidney mass (growth or tumor) can develop. As a result learn if your mass is cancerous, it must be examined. There are many treatment options available. Early detection of cancer often opens up even and more options. You can rely on your medical team for assistance. Treatments can explained to you in more detail by them. But our kidney cancer information section discusses how to deal with a mass if it forms in your body.

The Purpose of the Kidney?

There are many functions served by our kidneys, but they mainly perform the following:

  • Cleanse (detoxify) our blood
  • Fluid balance
  • Keep electrolytes balanced (sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, acid)
  • Waste (such as urine) must be removed
  • Make blood-pressure-regulating hormones, red blood cells, and bones-building hormones

What is a Kidney Mass?

Tumors are abnormal growths in the body. Tumors or kidney masses are abnormal growths in the kidneys. There are benign (noncancerous) and malignant (cancerous) kidney masses.

A benign kidney mass occurs in one out of four cases. Masses that are smaller are more likely to be benign. Cancer is more likely to occur in large masses. Some tumors grow slowly while others grow more rapidly or are more aggressive. An aggressive tumor may form, grow, and spread rapidly. About 40% of kidney tumors are small, localized masses. If the tumor localized it means it hasn’t spread. Tumors can be classified into three main categories:

(RCC) Renal cell carcinomas. Most kidney tumors that are malignant are these. The kidneys contain them in the main substance that filters urine. As a single tumor or as several tumors within one kidney, RCC can exist. Benign kidney tumors. The benign nature of most kidney tumors is about 20%. A total of nine named tumors fall into this category. In most cases, they cannot spread to other organs and grow quite large.

Wilms tumors. Children are usually affected by Wilms tumors, whereas adults are rarely affected.

The Basics of Kidney Cancer

In the United States, kidney cancer is one of the top 10 most common cancers, with more than 76,000. Cancer of the kidney is more commonly diagnosed in men than in women. Cancer of the kidney can affect anyone, but is more common among African Americans, American Indians, and Alaskan Natives. In older people (those over 75 years old), kidney cancer is more common. Kidney cancer is more likely to cure if diagnosed early.

The Causes of Kidney Masses?

The cause of kidney masses is unknown. The following factors can increase your risk of kidney tumors:

  • Smoking
  • Being on kidney dialysis
  • High blood pressure
  • Chlorinated chemicals in the workplace
  • About 4-6% of kidney cancer cases are caused by heredity

symptoms

  • The early stages of kidney masses are usually symptomless. Symptoms may include:
  • Blood in the urine (hematuria)
  • Hip and rib pain in the flanks
  • Back pain on one side (not due to injury) that persists
  • A lack of appetite
  • Dieting does not cause weight loss
  • Non-infectious fever that does not go away

Diagnosis

A kidney mass is found by chance in over half of the cases. They are often found at the time of a generic screening or when a doctor checks on another problem. Your doctor might refer you to a urologist if they suspect you have kidney problems. A urologist specializes in the treatment of urinary problems.

Kidney masses cannot detected routinely by laboratory tests. A health care provider may use various tests to diagnose your kidneys. Testing and procedures you might expect include:

  • History and physical exam
  • Checking the function of organs with a basic or complete metabolic panel (CMP)
  • Check the blood for signs of disease with a complete blood count (CBC)
  • Checking urine for infection, blood, and protein
  • Check the kidneys’ function by checking serum creatinine levels
  • An ultrasound can be used to take images of your kidneys
  • Kidney masses can be diagnosed and staged using a CT scan and an MRI
  • X-ray and bone scan to determine if cancer has spread
  • A kidney biopsy uses to identify the type of tumor in your kidney

Staging and grading

A tumor grade indicates how aggressive cancer cells are in your body. A tumor’s stage indicates how far it has spread. In grades 1 through 4, severity increases, with 1 being the least serious and 4 being the most severe. Tumors of a higher grade and more advanced stage usually grow larger and behave more aggressively.

A tumor node metastasis (TNM) system uses to stage kidney cancer.

The “Tumor” in the TNM system indicates the size of the main (primary) tumor and whether it has spread to surrounding tissues.

  • T1: Kidney tumors measuring less than 7.0 cm (about 2 .8 inches) in diameter
  • T1a: Kidney tumors with a diameter of 4.0 cm or less
  • T1b: A kidney tumor measuring 4.0-7.0 cm in diameter
  • T2: The tumor is larger than 7.0 cm and confined to the kidneys
  • T2a: Greater than 7.0 cm and less than 10 cm, confined to the kidney
  • T2b: The tumor is larger than 10 cm (about 3 .9 inches), confined to the kidneys
  • T3: Major veins are invaded by tumors, but not the adrenal gland or Gerota’s fascia
  • T4: The tumor extends beyond Gerota’s fascia (including the adrenal gland). The tumor is not localized.

According to the TNM system, the “Nodes” represents how far the tumor has spread.

  • N0: There were no metastatic lymph nodes in the region
  • N1: Regional lymph node(s) metastatic

TNM’s “Metastasis” indicates whether a cancer has spread (metastasized) to other organs. Most commonly, the disease spreads to the lungs, bones, liver, brain, and far-off lymph nodes.

M0: There are no distant metastases

M1: Metastasis at a distance

Treatment

There are some patients who will never need surgery. Surgery may be the best option for others. A biopsy of the tumor may recommend in some cases to determine the tumor’s potential aggressiveness. A doctor may then suggest one of four treatment options. They are as follows:

  • Radical nephrectomy
  • Ablation
  • Partial nephrectomy
  • Active surveillance

Radical nephrectomy

A radical nephrectomy involves removing the entire kidney. An aggressive kidney tumor or one that shows signs of turning into cancer may require this kind of surgery. A person can survive with one good kidney absent if they have the other removed.

Most nephrectomies can executed successfully via laparoscopic surgery, but larger tumors may require open surgery. An endoscopist makes a tiny hole in the abdomen and threads a thin, lighted tube to the kidney to look inside.

Ablation

Your surgeon may consider ablation if your tumor is small (T1a, less than three cm in size). A tumor affects by exposing it to extreme temperatures or cold. Before ablation, your doctor may conduct a biopsy to determine if there are cancerous cells in the tumor.

  • A cryoablator destroys tumor cells by passing very cold gases through a probe.
  • During radiofrequency ablation, a thin, needle-like probe inserted through the skin to reach the tumor. Through the probe’s tip, an electric current passes to heat the tumor and destroy it.

Partial Nephrectomy

A nephrectomy is the removal of a kidney. During a partial nephrectomy, the doctor removes the tumor as well as the diseased kidney, leaving the healthy part intact. A partial nephrectomy may recommend if your tumor is at T1a stage (4cm or less). If the tumor appears confined and amenable to this surgical approach, a partial nephrectomy can also be performed.

Active Surveillance

A doctor performing active surveillance will see you at intervals for imaging tests and blood tests. Small masses under 3 cm (about 1.25 inches) considered for active surveillance. A treatment’s goal is to prevent progression and avoid potential risks and negative effects. As needed, your visits will be every three, six, or twelve months. X-rays, CT scans, and ultrasounds may also be performed. A tumor’s size, stage, and general medical condition determine how often you visit your doctor.

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