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Kidney Cancer

  • What is Kidney Cancer?

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

    Renal cell carcinoma is the most common type of kidney cancer in adults. It originates in the lining of tubules (very small tubes) in the kidneys and grows uncontrollably to form a single mass within the kidneys. More than one tumour can develop in one or both kidneys. Renal cell carcinoma occurs mainly in men aged 50 – 70 years old.

  • There are no known causes for kidney cancer. Some risk factors, however, may increase your risk of developing kidney cancer. These include:

    • Age (between 50 – 70 years of age)
    • Gender (men are more prone than women)
    • Race (African Americans and Chinese)
    • Smoking
  • Symptoms of kidney cancer include:

    • Anaemia (low red blood cell count)
    • Back pain
    • Blood in the urine (could also be a sign of other diseases)
    • Tiredness
    • Fever
    • Flank pain (pain in upper abdomen, back and sides)
    • Lump on one side of the stomach
    • Weight loss
  • If the kidney cancer is still in its early stages, the most efficient treatment options include:

    • Laparoscopic radical nephrectomy, a minimally invasive surgery to completely remove all or the affected parts of the kidney. (You can potentially be cured)

    If the kidney cancer is advanced and has spread outside the kidney, treatment might include a combination of the following:

    • Immunotherapy to fight the cancer cells using the body’s immune system
    • Laparoscopic radical nephrectomy to stop bleeding and pain from the cancer
    • Radiation therapy, which may be used to relieve pain and stop bleeding from the cancer
    • Targeted therapy that uses agents to block blood supply to cancer cells
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