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Kidney Cancer

What Is Kidney Cancer?

Kidney cancer is cancer that affects the kidney. As kidney cancer grows, it may invade organs near the kidney. Some of the areas it affects are the liver, colon, and pancreas. Kidney cancer cells may also break away from the original tumor and spread (metastasize) to other parts of the body. When kidney cancer spreads, cancer cells may appear in the lymph nodes.

What are the Symptoms?

In the early stages of kidney cancer, there may be no obvious symptoms. As the disease progresses, some of the common symptoms are:

  • Blood in the urine
  • A lump or mass in the kidney area
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite;
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Recurrent fevers
  • A pain in the side that doesn't go away; and
  • High blood pressure

What causes Kidney Cancer?

The exact cause of kidney cancer is unknown. However, there are certain risk factors that are linked to it. These risk factors, according to the American Cancer Society, are: smoking, exposure to asbestos, cadmium exposure, family history of kidney cancer, gender (men are twice as likely to get kidney cancer as are women) diet (a high-fat diet increases a person's risk of kidney cancer), weight/obesity, and long-term dialysis.

How is Kidney Cancer Diagnosed?

Your doctors can determine whether you have kidney cancer by performing a physical exam, blood and urine tests. Your doctor may also feel the abdomen for lumps or irregular masses.

Treatment Options for Kidney Cancer

Your treatment options depends on the stage of the disease, your general health and age, and other factors. Your doctor will develop a treatment plan to fit your needs.

Some of the most common treatment options are: surgery, radiation therapy, biological therapy, chemotherapy, or hormone therapy.

Effects of Treatment

 

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