Renal cell carcinoma is the most common type of kidney cancer. It develops
when malignant cells form in the linings of the tubules of the kidneys.
One or both kidneys may be affected. Patients who have been diagnosed with
kidney cancer are encouraged to speak with a urologist about their cancer treatment options.
Signs and Symptoms
In its early stages, renal cell carcinoma may not cause any noticeable
symptoms. As the cancer progresses,
patients may experience abdominal pain and swelling, back pain, bloody urine, and unintentional weight loss.
Male patients may develop a varicocele, which refers to the swelling of
the veins of a testicle. Female patients may experience excessive hair
growth. Anemia, loss of appetite, pain in the side, and vision problems
may also develop because of kidney cancer.
Most patients who are diagnosed with kidney cancer are men between the
ages of 50 and 70. Smoking is known to be a significant risk factor of
kidney cancer, as is the long-term use of certain medications such as
pain pills and diuretics. Other risk factors may include obesity, polycystic
kidney disease, high blood pressure, history of dialysis treatment, and
a family history of the disease.
A primary care physician may suspect kidney cancer upon performing a physical
exam, which may reveal the presence of a lump in the abdomen and, in men,
a varicocele. Then, patients may be referred to a urologist for further
testing. These medical tests may include imaging studies, blood tests,
urinalysis, liver function tests, and renal arteriography.
Most often, the treatment for this particular type of cancer is surgery
to remove part or all of the kidney. Sometimes, it may be necessary to
remove the bladder, lymph nodes, and other surrounding tissues. Some medications
may be helpful, although chemotherapy and radiation therapy are not generally
effective for kidney cancer.
Urology Associates, P.C. is your partner in wellness. Our urology team
provides cutting-edge cancer treatment throughout Middle Tennessee, including
kidney and bladder cancer treatment. If your primary care physician suspects
that you might have renal cell carcinoma, call us without delay at (855) 901-1338.