Kidney cancer are tumors that arise in the kidney. The most common type of kidney cancer in adults is renal cell carcinoma, but other less common types of kidney cancer can occur. Kidney cancers may be related to older age, being male, smoking, obesity, high blood pressure or being exposed to chemicals in the workplace. In rare cases, kidney tumors may be due to genetic abnormalities or familial conditions. Kidney tumors can be treated with surgery to remove part or all of the kidney, thermal ablation to freeze or microwave the tumor, or, in some cases, small tumors may be watched.
Kidney cancer can be difficult to detect because it rarely causes symptoms until its later stages. Some common symptoms may include:
In some cases, these symptoms may suggest a later of stage of kidney cancer, but they can also be signs of another health condition.
If you have symptoms of kidney cancer or your doctor suspects you may have a form of it, he or she may recommend having tests to confirm a diagnosis. Some could include blood and urine tests, imaging tests, or the removal of a sample of kidney tissue for a biopsy. If it is determined that you have kidney cancer, your doctor will then determine the stage of the cancer. This may involve additional imaging tests.
Typically, surgery to remove the affected kidney or surgery to remove the tumor from the kidney is the initial treatment. If surgery is not an option due to your overall health or other risk factors, alternative treatments may include: