Kidney Cancer and Renal Pelvis Cancer

Kidney Anatomy

What are Kidneys?

Kidneys are a pair of organs in your abdomen. Each kidney is about the size of a fist. Kidneys are part of the urinary tract. They make urine by removing wastes and extra water from your blood. Urine collects in a hollow space (renal pelvis) in the middle of each kidney. Urine passes from your renal pelvis into your bladder through a long tube called a ureter. Urine leaves your bladder through a shorter tube (the urethra).

Kidney Cancer Overview

This cancer forms in tissues of the kidneys. Kidney cancer includes renal cell carcinoma (cancer that forms in the lining of very small tubes in the kidney that filter the blood and remove waste products) and renal pelvis carcinoma (cancer that forms in the center of the kidney where urine collects). It also includes Wilms tumor, which is a type of kidney cancer that usually develops in children under the age of 5. Kidney cancer cells can spread by breaking away from the kidney tumor. They can travel through lymph vessels to nearby lymph nodes. They can also spread through blood vessels to the lungs, bones, or liver. After spreading, kidney cancer cells may attach to other tissues and grow to form new tumors that may damage those tissues.

Kidney Cancer Symptoms

Urinary System

Common symptoms of kidney cancer are as follows:-

  1. Blood in your urine (which may make urine look rusty or darker red)
  2. Pain in your side that does not go away
  3. A lump or mass in your side or abdomen
  4. Weight loss for no known reason
  5. Fever
  6. Feeling very tired

Diagnosis of Kidney Cancer

The tests may include

  1. Urine tests
  2. Ureteroscopy
  3. Intravenous pyelogram (IVP)
  4. Retrograde pyelography
  5. CT scan
  6. MRI scan
  7. Chest X-ray

For ureteroscopy, a flexible or rigid telescope is inserted into urethra and the tip of the scope is extended into the bladder and the ureter. This means they can see the inside of the ureter and take biopsies if they need to. This test is carried out under a general anesthesia.

Kidney Cancer Treatment

Kidney Function

Treatment options for kidney cancer are surgery, targeted therapy, and biological therapy. Patient may receive more than one type of treatment. The treatment depends mainly on the following:-

  • The size of the tumor
  • Whether the tumor has invaded tissues outside the kidney
  • Whether the tumor has spread to other parts of the body
  • Your age and general health

Risk Factors of Kidney Cancer

Following are risk factors for Kidney Cancer

  1. Smoking cigarettes
  2. Working with particular chemicals including industrial dyes, rubber, plastics, aluminium and pesticides
  3. Some types of medicines like some painkillers (phenacetin) and cyclophosphamide
  4. Obesity: Being obese increases the risk of kidney cancer.
  5. High blood pressure: Having high blood pressure may increase the risk of kidney cancer.

Kidney Cancer Survival Rate

Estimated New Cases in 2014 63920
% of All New Cancer Cases 3.8%
Estimated Deaths in 2014 13860
% of All Cancer Deaths 2.4%
Percent Surviving 5 Years 2004-2010 72.4%
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