Kidney Cancer

The cells that make up the kidney can become cancerous, but kidney cancer accounts for less than one percent of all cancers.

/sites/assets/Assets/Article%20Images/kidney_3dimage.jpg?Width=616&Height=275

What is Kidney Cancer?

The two kidneys lie along the flanks of the body just behind the intestines, next to the spine. Kidneys form urine to clear some of the toxins produced by the body. The urine drains from the kidneys into the ureters and then into the bladder. From the bladder, the urine is passed out of the body. 

Kidney or renal cell cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tubules of the kidney. In Singapore, it accounts for one to two percent of all cancers, and is mainly seen in people over the age of 50, with nearly two-thirds of those being over 65.

Causes of Kidney Cancer

In most cases, there is no identifiable cause for the disease, although there are some risk factors:
Smoking. Smokers have about twice the risk of non-smokers
Contact with certain chemicals. Workers in contact with chemicals such as aniline dye and heavy metals are at greater risk
Obesity
End-stage kidney diseases that require dialysis
Chronic intake of mild painkillers such as paracetamol, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen and aspirin
Hereditary kidney cancer. A hereditary form of the disease occurs in a small number of patients — less than five percent — due to the presence of faulty genes. The inherited conditions that put people at risk from kidney cancer include Von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) syndrome, tuberous sclerosis, Birt-Hogg-Dube syndrome and hereditary non-VHL clear cell and papillary renal cell cancer

Kidney Cancer Symptoms

About two-thirds of kidney cancers are discovered when the patient is being tested for other complaints, even if these do not include kidney cancer symptoms. At this stage, kidney cancer is usually at an early phase. Conversely, in the remaining third of patients, the disease is usually discovered at an advanced stage. 

Possible signs include:
Blood in the urine 
A mass in the abdomen 
A pain in the side that does not go away 
Loss of appetite or weight loss for no known reason 
Anaemia (low blood count)

Kidney Cancer Diagnosis

Further tests to confirm if you have kidney cancer, and at what stage, include:
Ultrasound or computed tomography (CT) scan. Detailed images of the kidney will reveal the size, characteristics and extent the tumour
Kidney biopsy. Samples of kidney tumour tissue are removed and examined microscopically to confirm the cancer 
Cystoscopy. A small tube, a cystoscope, is passed through the opening of the urethra in the penis of men who have a kidney tumour and blood in their urine. It contains a lens and light system that helps the doctor see the inside of the urethra, prostate and the bladder to identify any additional tumours 

Read this next:



MORE A-Z

Cervical Cancer Prevention
Cervical Cancer Prevention

Precancer of the Cervix — Why the Pap Smear is Important

KK Women's and Children's Hospital
X

Share on Facebook now for
Healthpoints

Stroke: About Stroke
Stroke: About Stroke

An introduction to how a stroke occurs.

Stroke Services Improvement Team
X

Share on Facebook now for
Healthpoints

brain-mri-scan
Stroke: Types and Causes

What are the different types of strokes?

Stroke Services Improvement Team
X

Share on Facebook now for
Healthpoints

More A-Z

426
Kidney Cancer

 Catalog-Item Reuse

Back to Top