Causes, Symptoms, Treatment & Tests Recommended For Kidney Cancer

Submitted on March 27, 2012

The kidneys play a vital role in the everyday workings of the body as they are in charge of removing waste and extra water from the blood - thereby producing urine. Among some of the other roles that the kidneys play, they are also in charge of producing certain substances that are used by the body to control blood pressure as well as the production of red blood cells in the body. Kidney cancer is essentially cancer that develops in the kidneys and can exist in two types - Renal Cell Carcinoma and Urothelial Cell Carcinoma. Because of the fact that various stages of the treatment are rather distinctive between these two types of kidney cancer, it is important to make sure that clear and correct diagnosis of which type of cancer one is dealing with as early as possible. Besides these two types of kidney cancer, there are a number of other - rarer types of kidney cancer such as Bellini Duct Carcinoma, Wilm’s Tumor, Renal Oncocytoma and Mesoblastic Nephroma. Kidney cancer will primarily develop in two areas of the kidneys - the renal tubule and the renal pelvis - which is where the distinction between the two types is derived. Studies have shown that Kidney cancer accounts for about 2% of all cancers all over the world. Recent surveys have also shown that the incidences of the condition appear to be increasing.

Tests Recommended

No one wants any chance of misdiagnosis when it comes to dealing with anything that is cancer related and, as a result, there are a number of kidney cancer tests that a patient will be put through before he or she is informed by the medical staff that they are suffering from cancer. A general physical examination is conducted first in order to check for overall signs of health as well as for the levels of fever and blood pressure. A urine test may then be conducted in order to check for blood and some of the other sings of the disease before a blood test is performed in order to gauge the working condition of the kidneys. Imaging tests such as the CT scan or Intravenous Pyelogram are also performed in order to provide the doctor with clearer images of the internal organs and their workings. In some cases, there is a chance that the doctor will require a biopsy to be taken to remove a sample of the tissue in order to look for cancer cells.


There are a number of factors that are very prominent in our daily lives that are likely to cause the development of kidney cancer. Some of the more common kidney cancer causes include regular habits of smoking, excessive consumption of food causing obesity to develop and thereby place a significant amount of pressure on the kidneys as well as other medical conditions including high blood pressure and Tuberous Sclerosis. Drugs, especially cocaine misuse is also considered to be a very common cause of the condition.


Understanding and being able to correctly identify the various kidney cancer symptoms will go a long way into ensuring that detection of the condition is performed as early as possible - thereby increasing the chances of survival and effective treatment. Blood in your urine is usually one of the symptoms that is noticed first as it is a red flag that indicates something is wrong with the workings of the internal organs. A lump in your side or abdomen is another very important symptom to look out for and is usually noticed during the course of a regular medical checkup. A loss of appetite leading to weight loss as well as the development of extreme fatigue in the body are all common occurrences when dealing with kidney cancer and are going to have a major impact on the quality of life that you lead. The development of a long lasting fever is also very likely and could cause some significant reduction in your ability to perform some of the most basic day to day tasks.


As mentioned earlier, different types of kidney cancer will require different types of kidney cancer treatment. However, the most common route of treatment includes surgery - in order to remove the cancerous cells from the body and prevent them from spreading any further. This entails removal of either part of the kidney, the full kidney or the kidney along with certain adrenal glands and tissues around the kidney. Radiation Therapy and chemotherapy are common methods of treatment when dealing with all varieties of cancer and are regularly used when even dealing with this variety of the condition. Drugs are administered for pain controls as well as clinical trials in order to ensure that the patient does not suffer from too many side effects, while biological therapy is also something that is regularly performed. Biological therapy uses the body’s immune system to fight the cancer and requires a number of chemicals to be pumped into the body in order to boost its immune system.