This type of cancer begins in the kidneys. We have 2 kidneys. They are bean – shaped organs and each is about the size of your first. Kidneys are located behind your abdominal organs and there is one kidney on each side of your spine. The most common type of kidney cancer which is happening in adults and who is affecting about 90% of the cancerous tumors is the renal cell carcinoma. Also there are other less common types of kidney cancer which can happen. The Wilms’ tumor is a type of kidney cancer which is affecting the young children at most. There are some studies in which are said that the incidence of the kidney cancer is increasing. One of the most common causes for this is that CT (computerized tomography) scans are being used more often. When these tests are made, then the accidental discover of more kidney cancers is increased. There are many cases when the kidney cancer is found at an early stage when the tumors are small and they are confined to the kidney which is making them easier for the treatment.
Kidney cancer signs and symptoms
There are rare cases when kidney cancer is causing signs and symptoms in its early stages. There are no routine tests to screen for the kidney cancer in the absence of symptoms. When the kidney cancer is getting in later stages, then the signs and symptoms of this disease are including:
- Fever, which usually comes and goes (intermittent)
- Persistent high blood pressure
- Extreme tiredness (fatigue)
- Bone pain
- Night sweats
- Unexplained weight loss
- In men, swelling of the veins in the testicles
- Coughing up blood
- Loss of appetite and weight loss
- Pain in your back or side that does not go away
- Blood in your urine, which may appear pink, red or cola colored
- Swollen glands in your neck
If you have noticed any persistent signs and symptoms which worry you, then you should talk with your doctor as soon as possible. You may not have kidney cancer, but it is very important to have regular checkups with your doctor.
Kidney cancer Causes
It is not known the cause for the renal cell cancer which is the most common type of kidney cancer but there are some risk factors which are increasing the risk of it. There are many studies in which are said that the kidney cancer is beginning when some kidney cells acquire mutations in their DNA. This mutation is telling to cells to grow and divide rapidly. These accumulating abnormal cells are forming a tumor which can extend beyond the kidney. There are some cells which can break off and they spread (also known as metastasize) to distant parts of your body.
Risk factors: Here are some factors which can increase your risk of developing kidney cancer:
- Exposure to certain substances in the workplace: In this can be included the exposure to cadmium or specific herbicides.
- Family history of kidney cancer: Also there are some cases when in the absence of an inherited syndrome, people who have a strong family history of renal cell cancer, have increased risk of kidney cancer.
- Certain inherited syndromes: There are some people who are born with certain inherited syndromes which can have an increased risk of kidney cancer, such as those people who have familial renal cancer, hereditary papillary renal cell carcinoma, tuberous sclerosis complex, Birt – Hogg – Dube syndrome and von Hippel – Lindau disease.
- Treatment for kidney failure: Those people who receive long – term dialysis to treat chronic kidney failure are having increased risk of developing kidney cancer.
- High blood pressure (hypertension): It is known fact that people who have high blood pressure are having increased risk of developing kidney cancer.
- Obesity: There are many studies in which are said that people who are obese are having an increased risk of kidney cancer compared to people who are having average weight.
- Smoking: It is known that people who smoke are having increased chances of getting kidney cancer compared to people who are not smokers. This risk can decrease if you quit of smoking.
- Older age: As people are getting older, the risk of developing kidney cancer is increasing.