Kidney cancer which is also termed as renal cell carcinoma or renal cancer, is a serious disease in which both the cells of the kidney become cancerous, i.e., malignant, and grow out of proportion resulting in a tumor. According to the study done on kidney cancer diagnostics and therapeutics market, renal carcinoma is one of most common types of cancer in the UK. In most cases, this cancer affects adults who are in their 60s and 70s and in very rare cases, under the age 50. Most of the kidney cancers initially occur in the tubules inside the kidney, i.e., lining of tiny tubes. Fortunately most of the kidney cancers are diagnosed prior to the metastasizing to distant organs. Also, cancers which are diagnosed early are easily treated. Nevertheless, these cancerous tumors can expand to large size prior to getting diagnosed. The convoluted tubule which is the tiny part of tubes in the kidney assists in channeling of waste particles to the urine from the blood. The cancer is primarily asymptomatic, in initial stages renal cancer shows no distinctive indications and more often than not by the time it is diagnosed, the cancer is in the advanced stage. Basic symptoms of kidney cancer are sudden weight loss, hypertension, flank pain, night sweats, blood in the urine, and a mass in the abdomen.
Kidney cancer diagnostics
- Urine and blood tests – the results of urine and blood tests can give healthcare experts an idea of what is causing the possible symptoms.
- Imaging tests - 3D imaging enables healthcare experts to project a kidney abnormality or tumor. Imaging tests include:
- Computerized tomography (CT) scans – an intricate scan which takes many X-rays and conglomerated by a computer. The patient might be given an injection consisting of a dye intravenously prior to the scan in order for the kidneys to show up more precisely.
- Ultrasound scan – a scan which makes use of superior frequency sound waves to produce an image of the internal kidneys, therefore your medical practitioner can locate any problems.
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan – Scan which makes use of strong magnetic fields along with radio waves to generate in-depth images of the kidneys.
- Biopsy – in some of the rare cases where imaging fails, doctors might suggest a surgical procedure to extract a tiny sample of the kidney cells which look suspicious, and this sample is tested in the lab for any further signs of cancer.
- Cystoscopy – a thin tube-like catheter is passed through the urethra. This tube carries all the urine from the body so that the health care expert can look for any issues in the bladder.
Kidney cancer therapeutics
- Ablation therapies – the cancerous cells are killed and destroyed by either heating or freezing them
- Surgery – surgically removing the affected part of the kidney. Most commonly used technique
- Embolisation – a technique wherein the blood supply to the cancer is completely cut off
- Radiotherapy – high energy radiation is used to focus on cancer cells and alleviate symptoms
- Biological therapies – medicinal drugs meant for arresting the growth of cancer or its spreading
Disclaimer: The information given in this write-up is purely for educating the reader. It is not meant to be a substitute for any advice from a medical expert.