The kidneys are bean-shaped organs located below the rib cage on either side of the spine. The kidneys sift through the body’s blood each day to filter out waste products and excess water, which are turned into urine. As with any organ in the body, the kidneys may develop cancer, where cells in the kidneys grow uncontrollably, forming tumors.Individuals may experience no signs or symptoms of kidney cancer in its earliest stages. However, as a cancerous tumor grows, people may start to experience symptoms. Symptoms of kidney cancer may include blood in the urine, which may appear pink, rust-colored, or cola-colored, unexplained weight loss, and extreme fatigue. A lump in the side or abdomen, fever, and pain in the side or back may also indicate that one is suffering from kidney cancer.
If you are experiencing any symptoms of kidney cancer, it is important to make an appointment with your doctor to discuss them. As with all types of cancer, it is important to diagnose kidney cancer as soon as possible in order to get the best treatment outcome possible. Your doctor will perform tests in order to determine if the symptoms you are experiencing are due to kidney cancer or another health condition. These tests may include blood tests, ultrasound, urine tests, MRI, CT scan, IVP, and/or a biopsy.You may like:
Once you have been diagnosed with kidney cancer, you can begin treatment. While there are several types of kidney cancer treatment, the treatment you receive will be based on many factors, such as your overall health, the stage of cancer you have, how big the tumor is, and whether or not cancer has spread to other parts of your body.One treatment for kidney cancer is targeted therapy. In targeted therapy, you take a drug, typically by mouth, that slows down the progression and spread of the cancerous tumor. Some of the side effects for this treatment option include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, mouth or lip sores, and feeling very fatigued.Another type of kidney cancer treatment
is biological therapy, which may improve your body’s immune system. Biological therapy can slow the growth of cancerous tumors or shrink them. The drug is injected into your body, either intravenously or under the skin. While side effects vary from person to person, some of the side effects you may experience with biological therapy are rash, nausea, muscle ache, fatigue, headache, and weakness.Another treatment for kidney cancer is surgery. Radical nephrectomy, the most common type of surgery for kidney cancer, involves removing the entire kidney, adrenal gland, and some of the surrounding tissue. Your surgeon may also remove some of the lymph nodes close by. Alternatively, your surgeon may choose to do a simple nephrectomy, removing only the affected kidney. If you have a small tumor in your kidney, you may undergo a partial nephrectomy, removing the tumor and some of the surrounding tissue. The type of surgery you receive depends on how large your tumor is and whether cancer has spread to other places in your body.Arterial embolization is another treatment option for kidney cancer that may be considered. At times, arterial embolization may be used to make surgery easier. Alternatively, when surgery is not a treatment option, this procedure can be used to relieve some of the symptoms of kidney cancer. In this procedure, a physician inserts a small tube into your leg and threads it into the renal artery, the main blood vessel that provides blood to the kidney. The physician will block the flow of blood to the kidney by injecting a substance into the renal artery. Blocking blood flow to the kidney deprives the tumor of receiving oxygen, which it needs to grow.Two other types of kidney cancer treatments are radiation therapy and chemotherapy. Radiation therapy can be used before surgery to shrink the tumor or after surgery to kill any remaining cancerous cells. Chemotherapy is not often utilized in the treatment of kidney cancer because it has not been shown to be very effective for treating this type of cancer.If you experience any signs or symptoms of kidney cancer, make an appointment to discuss them with your doctor. If your doctor makes a diagnosis of cancer, there are many kidney cancer treatments you and your doctor can consider.