Kidney cancer is a type of cancer which occurs when cancer cells originate and grow within the tissues of the kidneys. The kidneys are vitally important organs which remove waste particles from the blood and help to keep our bodies free of contaminants. There are two kidneys which are on each side of our bodies. The major types of kidney cancer are renal cell cancer and renal pelvis cancer. Like all other cancers, early identification and treatment is essential in helping to combat the cancer and achieve the best possible results. So a good understanding of the key kidney cancer symptoms is very important in helping to control and hopefully cure the disease.
Kidney cancer can strike anyone but it tends to be more closely associated with people who are over 60 years of age. The disease tends to affect slightly more men than women. In addition those who are obese, smoke cigarettes, and tend to eat a poor diet of junk food and processed food carry a higher risk of developing the disease.
It also appears that people who come into contact with minerals such as iron and steel or other cancer causing substances can be at higher risk as well. And those who suffer from other types of kidney disease as well as those with high blood pressure may have a greater chance of developing the disease. In addition kidney cancer can develop as a result of cancer spreading to the kidneys from other organs.
There are several kidney cancer symptoms which can occur as the disease progresses. One common symptom is blood in the urine. As a tumor grows within the kidney it can bleed and pass it on to the urine.
Another common symptom is pain in the lower back as well as swelling of the kidneys and surrounding areas including the legs and ankles. There may also be other physical symptoms such as lumps in the abdominal area, excessive sweating for no apparent reason, fatigue and sluggishness, unexplained weight loss and fever.
If you appear to have some of these kidney cancer symptoms, it is very important to seek medical attention. An x-ray or CAT scan of the kidney may be used to find abnormal growths with the organ. If something is identified, they usually perform a biopsy of the affected area to analyze the tissue for the presence of cancer.
If the cancer remains localized within the kidney, treatments are generally used to remove the cancerous tissue. This may entail surgical procedures followed by chemotherapy or radiation therapy to kill any remaining cancer cells and minimize the risk of the cancer reforming.
If the cancer has metastasized and spread to other organs, surgical procedures tend to be much less effective. Chemotherapy, radiation therapy and a number of advanced cancer fighting drugs may be used to help combat the cancer cells. A complete cure may be more unlikely so the emphasis is on controlling the spread of the cancer and management of the symptoms to help extend and improve the long term prognosis of this disease.