Kidney Cancer - OOKINFO
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6/06/2019

Kidney Cancer

Kidney cancer is a type of cancer that initially appears in the kidneys. Humans have two kidneys located on both sides of the lower back, under the ribs. A kidney is an organ in the body that functions to filter out impurities in the blood and throw it in the form of urine.


In addition, the kidneys also produce the hormone renin which functions to control blood pressure and the hormone erythropoietin which functions in the formation of red blood cells.

Causes of Kidney Cancer


The cause of kidney cancer is not known until now. However, doctors detect that cancer begins when DNA in kidney cells mutates. This mutation causes kidney cells to grow abnormally and uncontrollably. The accumulation of these cells eventually forms a tumor that can spread to all kidney organs or other body parts.
There are several factors that can increase the risk of kidney cancer, including:

  • Smoke.
  • Hypertension.
  • Obesity.
  • Has a family member with kidney cancer patients.
  • Long-term dialysis side effects.
  • Works in an environment that results in exposure to certain substances, such as cadmium.
  • Von Hippel-Lindau syndrome, a congenital disorder that results in tumors and cysts in several parts of the body.
 

Symptoms of Kidney Cancer


Most kidney cancer sufferers are people aged 50 years and over. In the early stages, the patient usually does not feel any symptoms. However, at an advanced stage, sufferers can experience the following symptoms:

  • Fever.
  • Sweating at night.
  • Blood deficiency ( anemia ).
  • High blood pressure (hypertension).
  • Weight loss.
  • Pain and swelling around the lower back and waist.
  • Changing the color of urine becomes reddish or tanned because it has mixed with blood.
  • Coughing up blood if cancer has spread to the lungs.
  • Bone pain if cancer has spread to the bone.
  • Swelling of blood vessels around the testis (occurs in men).
  • Glands in the neck swell.
 

Kidney Cancer Diagnosis


As a first step in diagnosing kidney cancer, the doctor will do a number of things which include asking questions about the symptoms experienced by the patient and carrying out a physical examination to detect lumps or swelling.
The doctor will do a follow-up examination to confirm the diagnosis. Some types of follow-up checks include:

  • Urine test. To detect infection or blood.
  • Blood test. To check for signs of impaired function in the kidneys.
  • Ultrasonography (USG). The examination uses high-frequency sound waves to produce a picture of the patient's kidney.
  • CT scan. CT scan of the kidneys and urinary tract is an imaging test that displays images of the kidneys from many angles and pieces.
  • MRI. An imaging test that can produce detailed images of a patient's kidney.
  • Biopsy. The procedure is done by inserting a needle to take samples of kidney tissue which will be analyzed in the laboratory.

Through the follow-up examination, the doctor may be able to conclude whether the symptoms that the patient is experiencing are symptoms of kidney cancer or not. If the patient is diagnosed with kidney cancer, the doctor will determine the stage of kidney cancer.
 

Kidney Cancer Treatment


Treatment of kidney cancer is based on the size or diameter of cancer and its spread in the body. Some types of treatment for kidney cancer include:

  • Operation. Surgery is the most widely used treatment method for kidney cancer sufferers. There are 2 types of kidney cancer surgery, namely:
    • Partial nephrectomy, which is a surgical procedure by removing a part of the kidney that turns into a cancer cell This procedure is usually done if the tumor diameter is less than 4 cm.
    • Radical nephrectomy, which is a surgical procedure that removes all kidney organs from cancer cells. This procedure causes the patient to have to live with one kidney.
    The kidney cancer surgery procedure can be done in 2 ways, namely:
    • 'Open' operation. Performed by making a large incision in the abdomen or back.
    • Laparoscopy. Performed by using special equipment through a smaller incision, the size of a keyhole.
  • Ablation therapy. This therapy can be done in two ways, namely:
    • Cryotherapy. Therapy destroys cancer cells by freezing these cells.
    • Radiofrequency Ablation. Therapy destroys cancer cells by heating these cells.
    Ablation therapy has side effects, including bleeding around the kidney and damage to the ureter,
    which is the channel that carries urine from the kidneys to the bladder.
  • Embolization. This procedure is done by injecting a special substance into the renal veins through a catheter to inhibit blood flow. With the supply of nutrients or oxygen being broken into the kidneys, the tumor will shrink slowly.
  • Radiotherapy. This method of treatment uses radiation from radioactive energy to destroy cancer cells. Radiotherapy cannot treat kidney cancer completely, but it can reduce the symptoms that patients feel and slow the progression of cancer. This method is done if cancer has spread to other parts of the body, such as bone or brain. Treatment with radiotherapy has side effects, including:
    • Tired.
    • Diarrhea.
    • Reddish skin in the area affected by radiation.
  • Drug therapy. This therapy is done to stop the growth and spread of cancer cells by administering drugs, including:
    • Sunitinib. This drug works by inhibiting protein kinase, an enzyme that helps the growth of cancer cells so that the development of cancer can be stopped. Sunitinib is available in capsule form.
    • Pazopanib. This drug works by inhibiting tyrosine kinase, an enzyme that stimulates cancer cells, thus stopping the growth of cancer cells. Pazopanib is available in tablet form.
    • Sorafenib. This drug serves to stop the growth of cancer cells by preventing cancer cells from forming blood vessels, which are needed to grow.
    • Everolimus. Both of these drugs work by inhibiting or interfering with the function of mTOR proteins contained in cancer cells so that the number of cancer cells is not increasing.
 

Prevention of Kidney Cancer


The best way to minimize the risk of kidney cancer is to adopt a healthy lifestyle. Steps that can be taken include:

  • Quit smoking.
  • Always maintain blood pressure.
  • Maintain an ideal body weight to avoid obesity by multiplying the consumption of fruits and vegetables, and routinely exercise every day.
  • Use personal protective equipment in a work environment that is susceptible to exposure to hazardous substances.

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