Kidney Cancer

What is kidney cancer?

The answer is generally a malignant condition that develops in the kidney due to an aberrant growth of cells that originate from the kidney. Kidneys reside in their retroperitoneal area of the body and filter water which directly leads to the production of urine. In adults and most common kind of kidney cancer is real cell carcinoma. Another type of kidney cancer is transitional cell carcinoma which originates from the lining of the kidney. The risk factor for conventional renal cell carcinoma includes hereditary smoking and possibly age. The most important risk factor for transitional cell carcinoma of the kidney is smoking. Some studies also suggest that kidney cancer may be worsened by obesity.

What are some of the symptoms of kidney cancer?

Often kidney cancer and has no symptoms. However kidney cancer may present with microscopic hematuria which is a very tiny amounts of blood in urine which is only detected by a urine test. Much less often in patients may present with gross hematuria which is urine color which is to color or even red. When kidney cancer tumor size is small often there is no symptoms. However when the tumor size increases some patients may complain oh abdominal bloating or early satiety which is feeling full quickly after the start of the meeting. Some patients with advanced kidney cancer may present with weight loss, anemia, and even intermittent fevers. If kidney cancer has metastasized (i.e. spread outside of the kidney) it may go to the bones liver and lungs or the brain.

How is kidney cancer treated?

Removal of the kidney tumor here right away of radical nephrectomy (which is the removal of the entire kidney) or partial nephrectomy (which is removal of only a part of the kidney containing the tumor), are the most effective method of treating kidney cancer. Whether they radical nephrectomy or a partial nephrectomy is decided upon depends on many factors. Some of these factors are the size of the tumor and the location of the tumor. If a tumor is greater than 7 cm or at a central location in the kidney, generally radical nephrectomy is recommended. They radical nephrectomy may be accomplished in an open manner or laparoscopically depending on the size and a surgeon’s comfort level.

Partial nephrectomy is further discussed on this website and please read more about it by clicking on the link. However briefly stated it can be accomplished either in an open manner laparoscopic manner or via robotic approach. Dr. Kamyar Ebrahimi who is a fellowship trained urologist in the field of minimally invasive and laparoscopic urology, believes that a partial nephrectomy showed be attempted it possible in order to give the patient the best chance at a nephron sparing procedure.

Recently, other methods for treating kidney cancer have been devised using radiofrequency ablation or cryotherapy technologies. These technologies essentially destroy the tumor and allow the bombing to restore and scar that affected area. These ablative methods may be applied through small skin incisions, and may performed with the use of only in local anesthesia, thereby obviating the need for general anesthesia. In some patients who are elderly and with multiple comorbidities, avoidance of generalized anesthesia may be less risky while affording good cancer control. While at Loma Linda University, Dr. Ebrahimi conducted research in this area and presented the data in multiple national and international and prestigious urologic meetings.