Health > Kidney Cancer
The kidneys are a pair of organs positioned above the waist on either side of the spine. The outer portion of each kidney cleanses the blood and produce urine. Benign cysts often develop in this area; much less often, a malignant tumour forms.
Renal cell carcinoma, the most common type of adult kidney cancer, starts in a kidney's outer portion. Transitional cell carcinoma, originates in the interior of the kidney, where urine collects. Cancer cells may eventually spread to other organs.
Kidney cancer is strongly linked with a number of other health problems.
If your doctor detects a mass in the abdominal or kidney region or using a stethoscope hears an unusual noise over the renal artery, he will check for kidney cancer.
If it is caught early, a kidney tumour will be removed surgically. The surgeon tries to remove only the cancerous area but may have to take out the entire kidney along with surrounding fat, lymph nodes, and possibly the adrenal gland.
Radiation therapy and chemotherapy can reduce tumour size but are not consistently effective in preventing the spread of kidney cancer.
Unfortunately, neither radiation nor chemotherapy is particularly successful in treating advanced kidney cancer.
New therapies are being tested constantly in the hope of improving cure rates for this and other cancers.
When patients reach remission stage, they must be checked regularly for recurrence or complications.
(See Cancer for more information about therapies.)
Stop smoking immediately. Maintain your ideal weight and limit high-fat foods, and red meat. Always toss out foods that become mouldy or rancid, including nuts, seeds, or rice.