Kidney Cancer
Table of Contents

Kidney Cancer Treatment

Kidneys are bean-shaped organs of the urinary system, situated in the back of the abdomen. Their main job is blood filtration and removal of body waste in the form of urine. In some people, unusual masses (tumours or body growths) develop inside the kidneys. These tumours can be cancerous, but most are not. 

Kidney cancer is a serious urological condition wherein a malignant tumour develops in the kidneys. It is becoming more common in today’s time and it primarily affects older men (those aged above 75 years). There are different treatments available for kidney cancer in Hyderabad. Often, there are more treatment options available at Arete Hospitals and better survival chances if kidney cancer is diagnosed early. 

At Arete Hospitals, top-notch urologists in Hyderabad help patients with kidney cancer symptoms. They can help patients learn more about the benefits and risks of treatments. Here are the details about kidney cancer including preventive steps to avoid tumour formation in the kidneys and the best treatments available under the roof of our urology department.

Benefits of Kidney Cancer Treatment

  • Provides long-term life satisfaction; better survival chances
  • Improves kidney function
  • Treatment aims to eliminate cancer cells and prevent metastasis.
  • Partial nephrectomy and ablation preserve kidney function by targeting cancerous tissue.
  • Effective treatment can offer emotional relief, reducing anxiety in cancer patients.
  • Relief from symptoms of kidney cancer after removal of metastatic kidney tumours
  • Enhanced quality of life by surgery if cancer has spread (metastasized).

Signs and Symptoms of Kidney Cancer

There are usually no signs or symptoms during the early stages of kidney cancer. Unfortunately, the majority of people exhibit symptoms in the later stages, which may appear nonspecific at times. If symptoms appear, they are most likely to be:

  • Hematuria (occurrence of blood in the urine)
  • Persistent lower back pain on one side (not because of an injury) 
  • specifically in the flanks (between the ribs and hips)
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Appetite loss
  • Anaemia (low count of red blood cells)
  • Fever that comes and goes (not due to an infection)
  • Lumping of the lower back.

If one is experiencing any symptoms they must consult with a uro-oncologist in Hyderabad for immediate diagnosis and treatment of the concern.

Causes and Risk Factors of Kidney Cancer

It is still under research why the division of kidney cells alters to form abnormal masses and become malignant. However, some risk factors have been associated with kidney cancer. 

The different risk factors to consider include:

  • Ageing: The prevalence of kidney cancer rises with age. Elderly people should be aware that their probability of having kidney cancer is higher than young people.  
  • Smoking: Smoking has been reported to be a risk factor in almost one-third of kidney cancer cases. Cigarette smoke is harmful. Heavy smokers can end up having carcinogens in their system. When these carcinogens are passed by urine, they harm the tubule cells. Excessive smoking increases the risk of developing renal cell carcinoma- the most common type of kidney cancer, in the smoker. 
  • Side effect of certain medications: Abuse of certain over-the-counter medications, such as phenacetin can affect the kidney and may lead to kidney cancer. 
  • Being overweight/obese: Obesity is a recognized risk factor. Poor diet plans can also result in the same. 
  • Certain chemicals exposure: Occupational exposure to chlorinated chemicals, cadmium, and asbestos can eventually lead to kidney cancer. 
  • Being on Dialysis: People on long-term dialysis are at greater risk of having kidney cancer. 
  • Hypertension: People having chronic hypertension can end up having damaged blood vessels and impaired kidney functioning. Over time such kidney damage can cause the development of kidney cancer. 
  • Genetic factors: Kidney cancer is more likely in families whose genes are defective. Kidney cancer risk is also increased by inheritable conditions such as von Hippel-Lindau disease, tuberous sclerosis complex, and Burt-Hogg-Dube syndrome. About 4-6% of kidney cancer patients are because of heredity. 

Diagnosis of Kidney Cancer in Hyderabad

The majority of kidney masses are found during generic screening or when the patient is consulting a doctor for other health issues. If the doctor suspects patients to have problems in their kidneys, then they are sent to a urologist for diagnosis. 

Kidney cancer can now be diagnosed in its early stages because of the wide availability of imaging tests, which are ultrasound and computed tomography (CT). However, one-third of kidney cancer cases are identified at advanced stages, often with metastasis (the spread of the cancerous cells to other organs).

There are no routine laboratory tests that can help find abnormal kidney masses. Kidney doctors in Hyderabad usually order for following tests and procedures to diagnose kidney cancer and know its type and stage:

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)- An MRI scan is required of the abdomen to diagnose kidney cancer and establish the clinical stage (the extent) of kidney masses. Based on the information received, the urologist designs the most appropriate treatment plan for the patient. 

Ultrasound- In some cases, contrast-enhanced ultrasound may help diagnose the solid nature of kidney tumours. Ultrasound uses sound waves to get images of the inside of the kidneys. 
CT scan, Bone scan, and chest X-ray- CT scan is used to view the inside of the kidneys and abdomen (belly) completely. CT scan, Bone Scan, and chest X-ray can typically reveal whether a malignant tumour has moved beyond the kidney. 

Biopsy- The biopsy is done of abnormal kidney mass to find what kind of kidney tumour the patient has. 

Kidney Cancer Treatment in Hyderabad

The treatment of Kidney Cancer focuses on the removal of unusual kidney masses and protecting kidney functions, wherever possible. For some cases, surgical intervention is necessary while others may not need to be operated at all. This depends upon the potential aggressiveness of kidney tumours. 

Those diagnosed with kidney cancer are usually recommended one of the following treatments at Arete Hospitals, Kidney Cancer Hospital in Hyderabad:

1. Surgery

Surgery is a primary treatment for most kidney malignancies and can often cure the tumour independently.

Kidney cancer surgery in Hyderabad can be used to obliterate the kidney, including the tumour (referred to as a radical nephrectomy) or cancer alone, along with some of the surrounding kidney tissue (referred to as a partial nephrectomy in Hyderabad). The surgical approach depends on the stage and location of the tumour, as well as other criteria. 

The adrenal gland and fatty tissue around the kidney are sometimes removed. In some cases, the adjacent lymph nodes may also be removed. Both types of nephrectomies often are performed laparoscopically. However, depending on the size and characteristics of the kidney tumour, the surgeon may even go for open surgery. Some patients with kidney cancer who progressed to other organs may benefit from surgery.

2. Radiation therapy

Radiation therapy employs high-energy photons or particles to kill cancer cells. Radiation therapy may treat kidney cancer if a person is too sick to have surgery or has only one kidney. External beam therapy (EBRT), which focuses radiation on the tumour from outside the body, is typically used to treat kidney cancer. When radiation is used to treat a single site of cancer spread, such as the lung, it is commonly called stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT). SBRT is a type of EBRT.

Radiation therapy is more commonly used to palliate or alleviate cancer symptoms such as pain, bleeding, or problems caused by the cancer’s spread. For more details on kidney cancer treatment in Hyderabad consult the experts at Arete Hospitals.

3. Immunotherapy

Immunotherapy uses medications to strengthen the immune system of kidney cancer patients. The immune system works to detect and kill cancer cells more efficiently. Immunotherapy can help treat kidney cancer in a variety of ways.

4. Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy in Hyderabad involves the use of oral or intravenous anti-cancer medications. These medications enter the bloodstream and reach almost every body part, making them potentially effective for cancer that has spread (metastasized) to organs other than the kidney.

Prevention of Kidney Cancer

  • The cause of kidney cancer is unknown in many cases. The condition isn’t preventable in situations such as inherited diseases, despite knowing the cause. However, there are specific steps patients may take to lower the risk of developing kidney cancer.
  • Cigarette smoking is responsible for a substantial proportion of cases. Thus, quitting smoking may help reduce the risk.
  • Obesity and hypertension are risk factors for kidney cancer. Maintaining a healthy weight with exercise and having a diet full of fruits and vegetables may help lower the chance of contracting this condition.
  • Avoiding exposure to hazardous chemical compounds like trichloroethylene at work may lower the risk of kidney cancer.
Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are the consequences of kidney cancer, if left untreated?

Kidney cancer is a lethal condition. If left untreated, it can spread to other body parts, such as the bones, lungs, or brain.

As with other types of cancer, early detection is critical for increasing the likelihood of effective therapy. Untreated Kidney Cancer can severely impact the quality of life and even cause death.

2. Is it possible to cure kidney cancer?

A patient with kidney cancer confined to the kidney and not progressing to the lymph nodes or other organs has the best chance of long-term survival. Some patients belonging to this category will have their kidneys and primary tumours surgically removed and will never experience a recurrence of their condition. They may be considered 'cured' in that sense.

3. How quickly may kidney cancer spread?

Kidney cancer spreads quickly in its early stages when it is also most challenging to diagnose. Several factors, including age, gender, health, food, and family history, can influence the progression of malignant cells beyond this stage.

4. What are the risks associated with a nephrectomy?

Since the blood vessels in the kidney contain significant blood, bleeding from these vessels can be substantial after nephrectomy. There are also a lot of aberrant vasculatures around the tumour with thin-walled blood vessels, susceptible to bleeding.

The cost of kidney cancer treatment in Hyderabad varies depending on factors such as the stage of cancer, chosen treatment, insurance coverage, and any additional medical complications. Expenses may include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and ongoing monitoring. Patients should consult with kidney cancer treatment doctors in Hyderabad at Arete Hospitals and insurers to estimate personalised costs.

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