Skip to content

What you need to know about Kidney Cancer

What are kidneys

The kidneys are two bean-shaped organs about the size of a fist and filter out waste from your blood to make urine.

What are the symptoms of kidney cancer?

  • Persistent back pain below your ribs
  • Blood in your urine
  • Lower back pain
  • A lump on your side or lower back
  • Fatigue
  • Fevers
  • Loss of appetite
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Anemia

What causes kidney cancer?

All cancers begin with abnormal cells in the body that grow and develop into tumours.

Risk factors can include:

  • Obesity
  • Hypertension
  • A family history of kidney cancer
  • Old age
  • Being male
  • Long-term use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Having chronic kidney disease
  • Having kidney stones
  • Asian descent
  • Smoking
  • Occupational exposure
  • Chronic hepatitis C infection
  • Cytotoxic chemotherapy

What are the types of kidney cancer?

Renal cell carcinoma (RCC)

RCC is also known as renal cell adenocarcinoma. It starts in the part of the kidney that filters blood and usually involves a single tumour on one kidney.

Renal pelvis carcinoma

Renal pelvis carcinoma starts in the part of the kidney where urine is collected before moving to the bladder

Renal sarcoma

Although uncommon, renal sarcoma is a type of kidney cancer that starts in the connective tissues,soft tissue and blood vessels.

Wilms’ tumour

Wilms’ tumour is the most common type of kidney cancer in children

How kidney cancer is diagnosed

A diagnosis of kidney cancer requires a complete history and physical exam.

Some diagnostic tests can include:

  • Urinalysis
  • Complete blood count
  • Blood chemistry tests
  • Ultrasound of the abdomen and kidneys
  • Renal angiography (arteriogram)
  • Intravenous pyelogram
  • CT scan of the abdomen
  • Treatment options for kidney cancer

The treatment for kidney cancer focuses on removing the tumour from your body. After as much of the tumour is removed with surgery, other treatments may be necessary. These may include immunotherapy, targeted therapy, and radiation therapy.

Dr Ntomboxolo Mboyi has a BSc (UKZN), MBCHB (Medunsa), Fc Rad Onc (SA), and is a Postgraduate in Cancer Biology and Therapeutics: High Impact Cancer Research Program (Harvard Medical School). She is a member of the South African Oncology Consortium (SAOC), South African Society of Clinical and Radiation Oncology (SASCRO), American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), and American Brachytherapy Society (ABS) and a Chairperson of the leading body of CanSurvive, a non-benefit association offering support to cancer patients.

This Post Has 0 Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Back To Top