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Kidney Cancer Treatment

Kidney Cancer - Condition and Treatment

Kidney cancer treatment starts with a discussion between the patient and the medical treatment team. There are several options for kidney cancer treatment and the best approach depends on the general health of the patient, the type of the kidney cancer and the stage of development. Proper cancer treatment education and the flow of information are essential in all medical facilities, as the final decision must always be made by the patient.

This type of cancer originates in the kidneys, the bean-shaped organs located behind the abdominals on both sides of the spine. It is an increasingly common form of cancer worldwide, or maybe it is more accurate to say that due to the advanced CT scans or imaging techniques which are used to diagnose a vast number of other conditions, more and more kidney cancers are found in diagnostic processes accidentally.

The causes of kidney cancer are still unknown, but it is assumed that, the same way as other forms of cancer, it all starts when kidney cells mutate their DNA structure and begin to divide and multiply abnormally. The tumor they finally produce extends towards the surrounding tissues beyond the organ and in the final stages of metastasis it may spread to any organs of the body. Kidney cancer treatment depends on the state the cancer is found, so understanding how it works is essential.

Symptoms are rare in early stages, but later some common ones are:

  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Weight loss
  • Back pain
  • Blood in the urine

Naturally, certain factors and unhealthy habits may contribute to the development of kidney cancer, for instance:

  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Old age
  • Hypertension
  • Von Hippel-Lindau disease

Kidney cancer, particularly one of its common forms, papillary renal cell carcinoma, is hereditary.

Screening Tests and Diagnosis

The medical specialist can make use of a set of tools to diagnose kidney cancer and its stage of development in order to choose the best kidney cancer treatment. Among the tests and procedures used are:

  • Imaging tests (CT scans and Resonance imaging MRI)
  • Biopsy (Where samples of the kidney are taken from the tissue)
  • Blood and urine tests

In order to assess patient´s best option, some questions should be asked to have a clear idea of the disease and make a wise decision. Patients can contribute answering with accuracy questions regarding the first moment they started feeling and experiencing the symptoms, if the symptoms have been ongoing and equally severe and if there is anything that improves or worsens the symptoms.

Kidney Cancer Treatment

The most common kidney cancer treatment is kidney tumor removal or surgery. Surgical procedures include:

  • Nephrectomy or removing the affected kidney, border or healthy tissue, lymph nodes and the adrenal gland. It could be an open operation, or performed through laparoscopy.
  • Nephron-sparing: this type of kidney cancer surgery removes the tumor from the kidney and a small margin of healthy tissue. It can only be a feasible treatment when the tumor is small or if the patient has only one kidney.

When kidney cancer surgery is not possible, other treatments include:

  • Cryoablation – a technique that freezes cancer cells through X-ray guidance.
  • Radiofrequency ablation – which heats cancer cells also through X-ray guidance.

Furthermore immunotherapy, targeted therapy (targeting specific aspects of the cancer) and radiation therapy are used as kidney cancer treatments when possible.

Alternative medicine is on the rise nowadays to complement or replace traditional cancer thrapies.

Prevention and Support

It is important for any patient facing kidney cancer to learn about the condition in order to feel comfortable when it comes to making a treatment decision. They must be resolved to change their lifestyle, follow all medical instructions, lead a healthy diet and not to despair. Support networks are also available so that the patient can focus on recovery after kidney cancer surgery and enable them to cope with the stress and despair that is common in cancer patients.

Some tips to prevent and reduce the risk of kidney cancer -

  • Quit smoking
  • Drink plenty of pure water
  • Eat more vegetables and fruits
  • Go to regular screening
  • Enjoying the simple pleasures of life such as friends and relaxing is a secret key for long-lasting health.