Kidney Cancer: Causes, Symptoms, and Diagnosis

The kidneys are two organs that bean-shaped. Each of them is the size of a fist. They’re located at the back on either side of your spine. The kidneys are often an ignored part of the body but with very essential jobs. Other than filtering out wastes from the blood and make urine it also releases certain hormones.

Kidney cancer is the type of cancer that begins in the kidneys. There are different types of cancer that can affect your kidneys.

Renal cell carcinoma is the most common type of kidney cancer in adults. It starts in the section of the kidney that cleans the blood and urine is collected. Among children, Wilms’ tumour, is the type of cancer than develops in their kidneys.

Causes Of Kidney Cancer

It’s unclear what exactly causes kidney cancer. Experts and doctors know that the cancer begins when certain kidney cells start developing changes or mutate in their DNA. This change and mutated cells behind to change and grow rapidly and abnormally. When these abnormal cells begin to accumulate together they form a tumour in the kidney. Some cells may break off and spread to other parts of the kidney or organs. This spreading is called metastasising.

Symptoms of Kidney Cancer

There are no obvious signs for kidney cancer in its early stages. However, as the cancer gets more serious, the symptoms may include:

  • Back pain especially below your ribs
  • Blood in your urine
  • Pain in the abdomen
  • Bloated abdomen
  • Lump in the abdomen
  • Tiredness
  • Recurring fevers
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Anaemia

Diagnosis Of kidney cancer

To understand the severity and where the cancer is, the doctor needs your and your family’s medical history and perform a physical exam. NU Hospitals has some of the best urologists in Bangalore who also refer and treat types of kidney cancer. In a thorough check-up, the doctor will watch for swelling in the abdominal or a lump there.

Here are some of the tests the specialists at NU Hospitals may require to run for detecting kidney cancer:

Complete blood count

A hormone called erythropoietin, which is produced by the kidneys, stimulates the generation of red blood cells. A blood count report will either indicate polycythemia, which is when the blood cell count is high, or low, which would indicate anaemia.

Blood chemistry tests

This type of tests aids in revealing how well the kidneys are functioning. The levels of some types of chemicals in the blood may be influenced by kidney cancer.

Urinalysis

This test shows if there’s any other sign of infection and if blood’s present in the urine.

Imaging tests of the abdomen and kidneys

An ultrasound, MRI, X-Ray, CT Scan can show the size and shape of your kidneys. These tests help the doctor understand the location, size and consistency of the tumour.

Kidney biopsy

In certain situations, the doctor may advise a procedure wherein a small sample of cells (biopsy) will be removed from a suspected part of the kidney. This sample is then examined in a lab to look for signs of cancer.

It is essential to lead a healthy lifestyle to minimize the risk of developing cancer. And seeking treatment in case of any back pain or abnormalities in urine, or other signs.

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