Kidney Cancer

One of the ten most common cancers in America, kidney cancer, also called renal cancer, affects millions of men and women. It isn’t exactly known what causes kidney cancer, but, like any cancer, lifestyle and age are directly connected.

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What is Kidney Cancer

Kidney cancer starts when cells in the kidneys mutate and begin grow out of control forming a mass or tumor inside the kidney. There are several types of kidney, or renal, cancer:

  • Renal cell carcinoma – The most common type of kidney cancer making up for 9 out of 10 of all diagnosed kidney cancers. A tumor, or two in rare cases, will grow in the kidney.
  • Transitional Cell Carcinoma – This cancer doesn’t start in the kidney. It begins in the lining of the renal pelvis where the ureters meet the kidneys.
  • Wilm Tumors – This type of cancer is prevalent in children.
  • Renal sarcoma – This cancer affects the kidneys by beginning in the blood.

Fortunately, kidney cancer is very treatable, especially with kidney cancer diagnosed early. Most cancers are treated the same way: eliminate the tumor and any cancerous cells before it spreads. This can be done through surgery and other non-surgical treatments. While some tumors are benign and do not metastasize or don’t spread to other parts of the body, they can still become a major problem.

What is Kidney Cancer

Kidney Cancer Signs and Symptoms

Kidney cancer can grow inside the kidney without causing any noticeable complications until it’s very large. It’s important to schedule routine check-ups and screenings, especially for older or elderly people. The earlier the cancer is detected, the easier it will be to treat. Although, kidney cancer isn’t detectable extremely early there are some warning signs to watch out for:

  • Blood in Urine
  • Back pain by spine
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Tiredness

These symptoms are typical to any cancer, but can also be the result of various other conditions. If you experience any of these symptoms, schedule an appointment with a doctor today.

Several factors can increase a person’s risk of kidney cancer in including:

  • Older Age – As with most cancers, the older you are the more at risk you are for cancer.
  • Smoking – Smokers are at an increased risk for kidney cancer but the risk drops dramatically after quitting.
  • High Blood Pressure (hypertension) – People who suffer from high blood pressure risk kidney cancer.
  • Family History – Some genes prone to kidney cancer are inherited as well as diseases like hereditary papillary renal cell carcinoma.
  • Exposure to Dangerous Substances – People who work with dangerous chemicals like pesticides run a high risk of kidney cancer.
  • Poor Treatment of Kidney Failure – Long-term dialysis due to several kidney failures are more susceptible to kidney cancer.

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What to Expect from Atlanta Kidney Cancer Screening

If you’ve experienced symptoms or risk factors for kidney cancer, you may be concerned about your health situation. You may have even begun researching treatment or searching online for “kidney cancer testing near me.” Advanced Urology is here for you.

Routine cancer screenings are an important way to detect cancer early and keep tabs on your overall health. A typical screening begins with a urine test. A urinalysis will give the doctor an idea of what’s passing through or leaving the body. If blood is found in the urine, the doctor might recommend further steps to screen for cancer.

The next step in screening is image testing using an X-Ray, CT or MRI machine. This will give the doctor and specialist a clearer picture of what’s causing the symptoms. If the doctors discover a lump or mass on your kidney, they’ll begin planning the next steps in treating your cancer. There are many treatment options with a range of costs for treating kidney cancer. Depending on your insurance and financial situation, there are multiple viable solutions.

Types of Kidney Cancer Surgery

Kidney surgery is the preferred treatment for kidney cancer. Removing the tumor, or even the whole kidney itself eliminates the cancer entirely.

Radial Nephrectomy

Through a single incision in the side of the abdomen or with robotic assistance, the surgeon removes the entire kidney and attached adrenal gland. Along with a small amount of healthy tissue, the doctor ensures all the cancerous cells are removed before sewing the incision.

Partial Nephrectomy

This preferred method is also called kidney-sparing or nephron-sparing surgery is where the doctor removes the tumor and a small amount of the healthy tissues around it. This is a great option if the tumor is small or if the cancerous kidney is the only operating kidney in the body. This can be done with a single incision in the body, laparoscopically or with robotic assistance.

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Types of Kidney Cancer Surgery

Non-Surgical Kidney Cancer Treatments

Surgery always has its risks. Infection, bleeding and immune complications can compromise your overall health especially if you have kidney cancer. Some people may choose less invasive kidney cancer treatment methods. While there are no specific medications to treat kidney cancer, there are non invasive procedures that have proven to be effective.

Cryoablation

By inserting a long hollow tube through the skin and into the kidney tumor image guidance like ultrasound, the doctor or specialist will shoot cold gas to cool down and freeze the cancer cells.

Ablation

Similar to cryoablation but with heat. A long needle with an electrical probe is inserted through the skin and into kidney tumor. There, an electrical current runs through the needle and into the cancerous cells, heating up and burning the cells.

Radiation Therapy

Using high-powered energy beams like x-ray, doctors have been successful in targeting and eradicating the cancer. This is especially helpful against recurring cancer.

These procedures have various advantages for people who are prone to illness, have an aversion to surgery or if the tumor is relatively small. Speak to a urologist in Atlanta about the right treatment for you.