Kidney cancer is a malignant formation formed in one or both kidneys. This disease is on the 10th place by prevalence, with the disease more often found in urban residents aged 50-70 years. Men are in the risk group: they are twice as likely to get kidney cancer. Among all malignant kidney tumors, renal cell cancer is the most common (in 40% of cases), ureterine and renal pelvis are less frequently registered, sarcoma is the most rare (in less than 10% of cases).
Kidney cancer: symptoms
Currently, about 50% of all kidney tumors are diagnosed randomly, with a planned ultrasound with complete absence of any symptoms. Characteristic symptoms of the disease are now less common. It is worth worrying if:
- Blood in the urine (hematuria). Its appearance may be sudden and abundant.
- Back and lumbar pain: these complaints are related to the germination of the tumor in neighboring organs or blockage of the ureter.
- Sealing in the abdomen (when palpation grows a tumor).
- Elevated temperature and blood pressure (the latter may be due to compression of the arteries or the production of renin tumor).
- Slimming, general weakness, anemia, night sweating and excessive fatigue.
Unfortunately, often the signs of kidney cancer do not appear immediately, the disease is long in asymptomatic form. That is why it is so important to undergo regular preventive examinations, to do an ultrasound and take a blood and urine test.
Diagnosis of kidney cancer
The diagnosis of kidney cancer involves a whole complex of different manipulations, which allows to establish the correct diagnosis with maximum accuracy.
The most accessible method of diagnosis is ultrasound.
The gold standard for kidney tumor diagnosis is computed tomography with contrast. Computed tomography gives a complete picture of the tumor position, its size, clinical stage and the tumor sprouting into adjacent organs.
Urinalysis reveals the presence of blood impurities in urine.
Blood analysis can detect indirect signs of the disease: anemia, elevated levels of alkaline phosphatase, urea in the blood, etc.
Magnetic resonance therapy is used to diagnose kidney tumors.
Kidney tumor biopsy is performed to confirm the diagnosis and determine further treatment tactics. Unfortunately, in some cases, kidney tumor biopsy is non-informative, so this study is now quite rarely performed.
To determine metastases in the lungs and bones of the skeleton, chest X-rays and osteoscintigraphy are used.
Kidney angiography is a radiological examination with a contrast agent.
Based on what are the manifestations of renal cancer, the patient’s condition and the results of preliminary tests, the doctor chooses certain methods of diagnosis of renal cancer to form the most objective picture.
Kidney cancer treatment
The treatment of kidney cancer is based on several generally accepted methods used individually or in a complex way. The attending physician, based on the type of tumor, clinical stage of age and well-being of the patient, available contraindications and other factors, may resort to different methods of treatment.
The most effective way to treat renal cancer is to surgically remove the tumor. Radical nephrectomy is the complete removal of the affected kidney, usually together with the surrounding paraneferal fibers, lymph nodes and sometimes adrenal gland. If the size of the tumor does not exceed 7 cm, a partial resection of the kidney is performed. Along with the traditional method, in which removal of the kidney or its resection is carried out through a large incision, there is a laparoscopic. In this case, the tumor is removed or resected with special tools introduced into the abdominal cavity through small incisions (2 cm). Laparoscopic method is associated with a lower incidence of complications. In addition, the rehabilitation of the patient is faster.
An alternative method of treatment of kidney tumors is cryoablation. The essence of the method is to freeze the tumor using special cryosons injected into the tumor. The tumor is subjected to alternating freezing and defrosting, which eventually leads to cancer cell death. This method is the least traumatic for the patient and is shown when the operation is not possible, tumors of both kidneys and a single kidney tumor. Drug therapy (chemotherapy, hormone therapy or immunotherapy) is prescribed if the patient is diagnosed with kidney cancer (stage 4), when surgical intervention is impossible.
Kidney cancer prevention
To prevent kidney cancer, it is important to quit smoking, control weight and eat a balanced diet (dominated by fruits and vegetables). Thus, a healthy lifestyle is the main method of preventing this disease.