Kidney cancer

Kidneys are bean-shaped organs located on the left and right side of your spine just behind the intestines. Kidneys act like filters to remove excess fluid, electrolytes and waste from your blood, and retain only the essential elements. Different types of cancer can be developed in the kidney.

Renal cell carcinoma is the most common type of kidney cancer in adults, which mainly occurs in men aged 50 to 70. It originates in the lining of tubules (very small tubes) in the kidneys and starts growing uncontrollably to form a single mass in the kidneys. More than one tumours can be developed in one or both kidneys.

There are no known causes for kidney cancer. There are, however, some risk factors that may increase patients’ chances of developing kidney cancer. These include:

  • Age (between 50 and 70)
  • Gender (are more prone to kidney cancer than women)
  • Race (African Americans and Chinese)
  • Smoking

Symptoms of kidney cancer include:

  • Anaemia
  • Back pain
  • Blood in urine (may also be a sign of other diseases)
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Flank pain
  • Lump on one side of the abdomen
  • Weight loss

If kidney cancer is still in early stage, the most effective treatments include:

  • Laparoscopic Radical Nephrectomy - a minimally invasive surgery to completely remove all or affected part of the kidney

If the kidney cancer is in an advanced stage and has spread to other areas , treatment may include a combination of the following according to patient’s condition: 

  • Immunotherapy - to fight cancer cells by using the body’s immune system
  • Laparoscopic Radical Nephrectomy - to stop bleeding and pain resulting from the cancer
  • Radiation Therapy - may be used to relieve pain and stop bleeding resulting from the cancer
  • Targeted Therapy - uses agents to block blood supply to cancer cells

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