(Wednesday, 1st Oct, 2014)
This is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal kidney cells, which invade and destroy the normal kidney tissue and spread to other vessels, lymph nodes, fat, and ultimately various organs in the body. The kidney's role in the body is to cleanse the blood and dispose of waste material in the form of urine. Kidney cancer is rare. It is twice as common in men, as it is in women.
There are four main types of kidney cancer:
The precise cause of kidney cancer is unknown but a number of risk factors have been
Identified. These include:
Kidney cancer may not have any symptoms. When symptoms occur, they may include:
haematuria. There are a number of other, less serious conditions that can cause
haematuria but you should not ignore it. You should discuss this with your doctor
who will advise you about further investigations.
I f you have symptoms suggestive of a kidney tumour or if you have a mass in the abdomen your doctor might organise the following investigations:
the extent of the damage to the kidneys.
Treatment choices are determined by a number of factors. The patient's age and general state of health are fundamental to this decision. Other factors that influence the choice of treatment include the tumour size, location and whether there is any evidence of tumour spread beyond the kidney.
The mainstay of treatment is surgical removal of the kidney (nephrectomy). This procedure
may entail extracting the entire kidney along with the adjoining fat and lymph nodes, to ensure that all the cancerous cells are removed. Radiation therapy and chemotherapy may sometimes be used.
Long-term follow up is required in order to exclude the possibility of a recurrence.
The earlier kidney cancer is detected and treated, the more successful treatment is likely
to be. Surgery alone can be curative if the condition is detected early enough. However, if kidney cancer is detected late and if there is evidence of spread beyond the kidney the outlook is poor.
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