Kidney Cancer account for 2 to 4%.
Cancer cells in tumors are abnormal and divide without control or order. These cancer cells can invade and destroy the tissues around them. Also, cancer cells can break away from a malignant tumor and enter the bloodstream or the lymphatic system. This process is the way cancer spreads from the original (primary) tumor to form new tumors in other parts of the body.
Renal is the Latin word for kidney. Renal cell cancer is the most common type of kidney cancer, and occurs more often in men than in women. Like all cancers, renal cell cancer begins small and grows larger over time. Although renal cell cancer usually grows as a single mass within the kidney, a kidney may contain more than one tumor, or tumors may be found in both kidneys at the same time. Some renal cell cancers are noticed only after they have become quite large, but most are found before they metastasize (spread) to other organs through the bloodstream or lymph vessels.
Symptoms of Kidney Cancer
Due to the deep location of the kidneys, there may not be any symptoms until the tumor has grown quite large. The most common symptom is blood in the urine (hematuria). Other symptoms of kidney cancer may include:
- A lump or mass in the kidney area
- Recurrent fever
- Rapid weight loss
- Lingering dull ache or pain in the side, abdomen or lower back
- Feeling fatigued or in poor health
Detection & Diagnosis
Small and early stage renal cell carcinomas are commonly diagnosed incidentally by routine ultrasound and CT scans done for other unrelated symptoms and health problems. Larger renal cell carcinomas usually present with symptoms. There are several tests used to detect and stage kidney cancer:
- Imaging studies
These are ultrasound, intravenous pyelogram (IVP), CT scan and MRI scan. CT of the kidneys involve injecting a dye into the blood streams during the scanning. Kidney cancer will enhance (or light up brilliantly) while other pathology like renal cyst will not enhance. This is the best imaging modality. These CT scan is used to stage the disease as well. In patients with poorly functioning kidney or has allergies to contrast (dye), MRI is done instead.
Kidney cancers are not responsive to radiations or Chemotheraphy.
- Depending on extend of disease whole or part of kidney will be removed.
- It can be done by open operation or by laproscopic (key hole surgery) method
Laparoscopic Nephrectomy (Removal of the Kidney)
Comparing size of incision in open and laparoscopic nephrectomy
Partial nephrectomy or nephron-sparing surgery(NSS) is an effective treatment for selected kidney cancers. The procedure can be laparoscopic or open.
- Tumours smaller than 4cm or benign lesions.
- Patients with tumour in both kidneys.
- Tumour in a single kidney.
- Unilateral tumour when other kidney has poor function.