Kidney Cancer – What It Is, Causes, Symptoms and Treatments


Kidney Cancer – What it is, Causes, Symptoms and Treatments that many overlook. In addition, Kidney Cancer accounts for 3% of adult malignancies worldwide. The most common type of this cancer is renal cell carcinoma, which accounts for approximately 90% of cases and originates in the kidneys and can spread throughout the body.

Carcinoma usually develops as a single tumor within a kidney, but two or more tumors within one or both organs may also appear simultaneously.

The number of diagnoses of kidney cancer is increasing worldwide. One possible reason for this breakthrough may be that some specific imaging exams, such as computed tomography, are being done more often.

These tests can best identify a case of kidney cancer and often the accidental discovery of the tumor occurs, especially during routine examinations.

Causes of Kidney Cancer:

It is unclear what are the causes of kidney cancer . Doctors know that a kidney tumor begins when some kidney cells mutate in their DNA, which grow and multiply rapidly and rampantly.

Over time, these abnormal cells accumulate and form a tumor mass that, if left untreated early, can expand beyond the kidney and cause many complications.

What are the main causes?

Although it is not clear what are the causes of kidney cancer, some factors may increase the risk of kidney disease.

The risk factors are:



Arterial hypertension

Treatment for kidney failure such as dialysis

Family History Old


Clinical syndromes (genetic predisposition) – Von Hippel-Lindau disease, Birt Hogg-

Dubé, Familial Leiomyomatosis

Acquired Cystic Kidney Disease – Dialysis

Prolonged use of non-steroidal analgesics

Occupational exposure to agents such as asbestos, cadmium and petroleum derivatives

Hereditary renal papillary carcinoma.

Kidney Cancer Symptoms:

Kidney cancer is difficult to detect because it rarely causes signs or symptoms in its early stages. To make matters worse, the few evidences that appear can be confused with other everyday diseases.

The most common symptoms are:

Hematuria (presence of blood in the urine)

Persistent back pain (just below the ribs)

Abdominal pain

Shortness of breath

Increased breast volume / size

Hormonal changes


Weight loss

Flank pain



How to Diagnose Kidney Cancer:

At first, the doctor performs the percussion of Murphy, where makes a palpation in a normal kidney there is no pain, but in a diseased kidney the pain is immense.

After the clinical examination, the doctor orders laboratory tests, such as:


Urine Tests

Imaging such as ultrasound, computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging.

scintigraphy bone

Biopsy, with the removal of a kidney tissue sample, which is sent and tested in the laboratory. This way you can be sure of the diagnosis.

The kidney cancer can be diagnosed at four different stages, which vary according to the extent and tumor malignancy. The earlier the patient makes the diagnosis, the more chances of cure he has.


Kidney Cancer Treatments:

Surgery is the only definitive treatment for kidney cancer . Radical nephrectomy, which is the removal of the kidney, adrenal gland, and regional lymph nodes, is the traditional treatment and most appropriate for cases of tumors that originate in the kidney.

However, due to the evolution of medicine and diagnostic procedures, radical nephrectomy is in many cases neglected by partial nephrectomy.

This new type of treatment consists in the removal of the tumor, but without the total removal of the renal parenchyma. In general, the results of partial surgery are similar to that of radical surgery.

Among the less invasive options is the possibility of the patient undergoing a laparoscopic radical nephrectomy, which offers the same cure rates as open surgery. For this type of intervention, the chances of death are much lower and the length of stay decreases considerably.

It is possible to use laparoscopic surgery to perform partial nephrectomy, but in very selected cases, and sometimes with rates of possible complications higher than open surgery.

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