Chennai Kidney Care

About the Kidneys

The kidneys are a pair of bean shaped organs found behind the other organs in the abdomen.Kidneys help in filtering, removing the wastes and extra water from the body in the form of urine. Each kidney is covered by  a thin layer of tissue called the renal capsule.

The main function of the kidneys is to produce hormone which help in the production of red blood cells. Kidneys also help in removing toxins and wastes from the body and control & balance the levels of fluids & electrolytes in the body.

The kidneys work independently and does not need one another to function. It is for this reason that people with even one kidney can live a happy and healthy life.

Kidney Cancer

Kidney cancer is cancer which begins in the kidneys.

Kidney cancer occurs when healthy cells that line the renal tubules in  one or both kidneys turn cancerous & is called as renal cell carcinoma or RCC. Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is the most common type of kidney cancer in adults. RCC often stays in the kidney, but it can spread to other parts of the body, such as the bones, lungs, or brain. There are many types of RCC tumors. Some types spread very fast and others are less likely to spread. Histopathological examination will help to find the different types of kidney cancer.

Signs and symptoms

In its early stages kidney cancer  does not show any signs or symptoms. However kidney cancer is usually found during an abdominal imaging test for other complaints.

As the tumor grows, following symptoms are seen

  • Blood in the urine
  • Pain in the lower back
  • A lump in the lower back or side of the waist
  • Unexplained weight loss, night sweats, fever, or fatigue

Diagnosis of  kidney cancer

Medical history & physical exam, along with blood and urine tests will help to diagnose Kidney cancer.

 Computed tomography (CT) scans which can  often show if a tumor appears cancerous or if it has spread beyond the kidney to other organs

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is also done to detect kidney cancer.

 Ultrasound is helpful in identifying if a mass in the kidneys is a  cyst or a solid tumor.

A biopsy can be used in special cases, but is typically not recommended. A biopsy requires a very small piece of the kidney to be removed with a needle and then tested for cancer cells.

Staging of kidney cancer

Once kidney cancer is found, tests will be done to find out if the cancer has spread within the kidney or to other parts of the body. This process is called staging. It is important to know the stage before making a treatment plan.

What is the treatment for kidney cancer?

  • Treatment depends on the stage of kidney cancer, general health, age, and other factors. One or more of the following options are available.
  • Surgery is the most common treatment for kidney cancer— most people with early stage cancer (stages 1, 2, and 3) can be cured with surgery.
  • With the advancement in medical technology Open or  Laparoscopic or Robotic surgery is done
  • Immunotherapy uses the body’s defense system (immune system) to stop or slow the growth of cancer cells
  • Targeted therapies directly inhibit the growth of the cancer.
  • Chemotherapy and radiation used for other types of cancer do not usually do a good job of treating most forms of kidney cancer

Reduce Your Risk for Kidney Cancer

  • Don’t smoke.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Take care of your kidneys—people with kidney disease may be at increased risk for kidney cancer:
  • Control high blood pressure.
  • Control your blood sugar if you have diabetes
  • Simple Urine Tests to Check for Kidney Disease could help save your kidneys.
  • Studies show there is a link between kidney cancer and kidney disease. Some studies show that people with kidney disease may have a higher risk for kidney cancer.
  • With regular health check-up awareness, prevention and treatment of kidney disease can be done