Kidney cancer is difficult to get detected just like any other cancer. A tumor in your kidney could be detected only when you are evaluated for other issues or during a regular check-up. When the kidney tumor grows and spreads into neighboring organs, it can cause symptoms like blood in the urine, fever anemia and tiredness. Any treatment for kidney cancer, once detected is most successful if the cancerous cells are localized. To understand more about kidney cancer it is important to understand the functioning of kidneys and the risk factors that lead to cancer.
Anatomy of Kidneys
Kidneys are the two bean-shaped organs located behind your abdominal organs, one on each side of your spine. The lower rib cage provides some protection to your kidneys. Although they are small they can do much for your body. Kidneys help remove the waste products like excess salt and water by filter your blood and disposing of the same through urine. Urine formed in your kidneys are carried through tubes called ureters down to the bladders and are expelled from the body when you urinate. Kidneys also produce substances that can help in controlling blood pressure and red blood cell production.
When your kidneys fail to function, it can result in toxic materials getting collected in your body leading to further complications. If your kidneys fail, you should either go for a process called dialysis or must undergo a transplant surgery.
The most common form of kidney cancer is called renal cell carcinoma (RCC). Experts have identified 5 major types of RCC of which Clear cell RCC and Papillary RCC are the most prominent ones. Clear cell RCC comprises 80 percent of all carcinomas which leads to 72 percent of all kidney cancers reported. Papillary RCC occurs in 10-15 percent of all RCCs.
Transitional cell carcinoma, renal sarcoma, and Wilms tumor are the three minor types of kidney cancers. Transitional cell carcinomas are known to occur in the renal pelvis while Wilms tumor occurs exclusively in children. Renal sarcoma is extremely rare and not reported often.
Risk factors for kidney cancer
Age is often quoted as the highest risk factor for a kidney cancer. Chances for developing the tumor are more as you grow old. Like for many of the cancers, smoking can lead to kidney cancer. The risk can even reduce once you quit smoking. Obesity has also shown a connection to kidney cancer, as people who are more than the average weight have a greater risk of developing the disease. High blood pressure is also a known risk factor for kidney cancer.
People with a family history of kidney cancer are at greater risk of developing the disease.
Individuals who have inherited syndromes like Hippel-Lindau disease or Birt-Hogg-Dube syndrome. Kidney cancer can also occur as an occupational hazard in individuals who had exposure to cadmium or specific herbicides.
The best way to keep kidney cancer at bay is to be aware of any changes in your body. Quit smoking and maintain a healthy weight. And if you have one or more of the symptoms, it is best to see an expert urologist in Dubai for a physical checkup.