Kidney cancer develops in the kidneys and constricts their normal functioning which can lead to life-threatening outcomes. It is marked by the abnormal and uncontrollable multiplication of unhealthy cells in the kidney, which gradually replaces all the healthy cells and tissues and eventually, the kidney becomes dysfunctional.
Symptoms of Kidney Cancer
In the early stages of kidney cancer, the patient is usually asymptomatic which is the major reason for late diagnosis of kidney cancer. Development of symptoms is more usual during the later stages and the possible symptoms include:
- A lump in the abdomen
- Abdominal pain
- Abdominal swelling
- Traces of blood in the urine
- Consistent back pain which may worsen with time
- Loss of appetite
- Pain in the side
- Unexplained weight loss
Causes of Kidney Cancer
The underlying cause of Kidney Cancer has not been identified clearly. Mutations developing from unknown reasons can alter the structure of the DNA. Eventually, the cells start to grow rapidly, forming tumours. In certain conditions, the tumorous cells can break away and spread to other parts of the body via the bloodstream. This process is known as metastasis
Factors that affect Kidney Cancer
Studies have shown that men are more vulnerable to kidney cancer as compared to women. Certain other factors can also elevate the risks of developing kidney cancer. These include:
- Certain inherited diseases and conditions
- Exposure to toxins
- Family history of kidney cancer
- Personal history of a kidney disease
- Older age
Diagnostic Procedures for Kidney Cancer
Vimhans Nayati has developed a first-class faculty backed by cutting-edge diagnostic equipment, offering accurate diagnosis in line with absolute safety of the patient. There are various diagnostic procedures which are performed to detect the condition, namely:
- CT scans
- CT (Computed Tomography) scans provide a detailed view of the kidneys and abdomen. In some cases, kidney cancer may even be detected during those CT scans which have been prescribed to the patient for other medical conditions.
- Complete blood count
The presence of red blood cell count denotes the release of erythropoietin from the kidney because this hormone stimulates the production of RBCs If the red blood cell count is high, the patient may be suffering from polycythaemia, and on the contrary, lower red blood cell count may point towards anaemia.
- Blood chemistry tests
- The estimate of various chemicals, present in the blood points out to the working of the kidneys. With the blood chemistry tests, the levels of specific chemicals in the blood are estimated.
- A urinalysis is performed to detect the presence of blood in the urine.
- In a biopsy, a small sample of tissues is taken from the kidney of the patient. Later, this sample is examined in the laboratory to check for any sign of malignancy
- Ultrasound of the abdomen and kidneys aids in estimating the nature of the tumour in the kidney, if present.
- Renal angiography
- To get a detailed view of the blood reaching the kidneys, renal angiography is performed. Firstly, a catheter is inserted via a large artery to the renal artery which is then injected with a special dye. Once the dye has reached the kidneys (renal artery), X-rays are captured. Later, these X-rays are viewed to estimate the blood supply to the tumour, if it is present.
Treatment of Kidney Cancer
Vimhans Nayati provides top of the line facilities with their dedicated team of surgeons, urologists, and nurses. For treating kidney cancer, premier medical services are offered with a step-by-step procedure. After the diagnosis of the condition, the stage of kidney cancer is estimated to plan a successful treatment method. There are two approaches to go with, non-surgical and surgical plans:
- Non-surgical treatment
- Non-surgical treatments are recommended when surgery is a risk factor for the patient and the spread of cancer is limited.
- Cryoablation is a modern technique to freeze the cancer cells and make them inactive.
- Radiofrequency ablation is done to heat the cancer cells and destroy them with an electric current.
- Targeted therapy uses drugs to block the abnormalities present within the cancer cells.
- Immunotherapy builds the patient’s immune system to fight kidney cancer.
- Nephrectomy is performed to surgically remove the affected kidney. In open nephrectomy, one single incision is made whereas in laparoscopic nephrectomy, a series of small incisions are made in the abdomen.
- Partial nephrectomy involves removing the cancerous cells (tumours) from the kidney whereas radical nephrectomy involves the removal of the complete kidney along with the surrounding fatty tissues and a portion of the ureter.