What is Kidney Cancer

Kidneys are bean-shaped organs that purify blood in the human body. Any dysfunctioning in the kidneys disrupts the functioning of the entire body. Kidney Cancer, also called renal cancer occurs when cells in the kidney mutate. This unwanted and uncontrollable mutation leads to cell growth that eventually forms a tumour or damaged tissues. Most of the time it is curable if detected at an early stage when the cancer is underdeveloped. If cancer spreads beyond kidneys then it becomes difficult to treat and is challenging for the doctor to cure the patients. With the blessing of advanced medical research and development, technology has now made it possible to cure kidney cancer even if it is detected at an advanced stage.

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Types of Kidney Cancer

  • Renal Cell Carcinoma: The most common type of kidney cancer is Renal cell Carcinoma. In this type of cancer, the tumour usually grows in one kidney. It is a very fast-growing cancer that spreads to the surrounding organs rapidly. Cancer develops in Renal tubes and later gets spread. Patients may not be able to diagnose this cancer in its early stage as it is symptom-free at first. However, later on, the patient might lose his appetite, lose extreme weight, and feel other changes in their body.
  • Nephroblastoma: Another type of cancer that is most common in children is Wilms tumour which is also known as nephroblastoma. It often occurs in children ages 3 to 4 and becomes less common after the age of 5. The treatment used for children is very much different from that of an adult. This type of cancer is treated with chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Though the causes of kidney cancer aren’t clear yet. Still, it is said that heredity plays a role in Nephroblastoma.

Causes of Kidney Cancer

For patients with acute kidney problems hemodialysis is the only way of treatment until a proper transplant surgery. Therefore it is impossible for such patients to discontinue the process of dialysis at any cost. The Centers for Disease Control Prevention (CDC) has thus come up with a set of rules and regulations as well as special facilities in order to aid the requirements of hemodialysis patients. This new set of rules and regulations has been sent to every state’s health facilities which demand hospitals and clinics with dialysis facilities to take certain precaution and care of the employees as well as patients. This initiative by CDC has ensured the continuation of hemodialysis, the only life supporting procedure for kidney patients.

What measures are being taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among kidney patients?

Though it is very hard to figure out which risk factor leads to kidney cancer yet some common risk factors in kidney cancer may include

  • Obesity,
  • Smoking,
  • High blood pressure,
  • Long-term dialysis.
  • Moderate consumption of alcohol is also considered as a rare risk factor in kidney cancer.

Treatment of Kidney Cancer

  • Nephrectomy: Treatment of kidney cancer depends on the general factors like stages of cancer, health, age, etc. but the most common way of treatment is surgery which is also known as Nephrectomy. Most of the time people with early-stage cancer can be easily cured through nephrectomy.
  • Thermal ablation: In some other cases, Thermal ablation or Active surveillance is also used. Thermal ablation kills the tumour by burning or freezing. It is done by radio-frequency ablation (burning) or cryoablation (freezing).
  • Active surveillance: Whereas in some cases where active surveillance is used, a small tumour is closely watched to see if it grows. This requires close monitoring and regular imaging and this type of treatment can only be done if the patient is old or has some health problems such as diabetes or heart disease.

Some people find it very difficult to eat during kidney cancer as they might lose their appetite but it is a must to take good nutrition during the cancer treatment. Intake of nutrients and calories will help them to regain the weight they have lost during the treatment and will also give them physical strength.

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