The kidney is an organ in the body that serves to filter the dirt from the blood and convert it into the urine. Humans have two kidneys located on either side of the waist below the rib cage. Kidney cancer is a type of cancer that attacks the kidneys. Cancer usually attacks only one kidney.
Kidney cancer is mostly suffered by people who have aged 50 years and over. In the early stages, usually no symptoms are felt. At an advanced stage, a person suffering from this disease can feel pain and swell around the waist area.
- Changed urine color becomes reddish or brown because it has been mixed with blood.
- Decreased appetite.
- Exit sweat at night.
- High fever.
- Hypertension or high blood pressure.
- Swelling of blood vessels around the testes (if kidney cancer suffered by men).
- Lack of blood or anemia.
- The body feels tired.
- Weight loss.
CausesCancer occurs when cells in the human body grow uncontrollably. In the case of kidney cancer, the cause is unknown. Although not yet known, there are a number of factors that can increase the risk of kidney cancer, including:
- Being overweight or obese.
- Have a family member with kidney cancer.
In addition to these factors, kidney cancer is also suspected to occur due to side effects of dialysis treatment in cases of renal failure and side effects of painkillers (eg non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), although this risk is very small.
If you experience symptoms of kidney cancer, such as persistent pain in the area of waist and urine with blood, immediately see a doctor for examination. The doctor may check blood and urine first to confirm the condition of the kidney experienced by the patient.
If it turns out that the cause of the symptoms is not due to infection, kidney stone disease, or other conditions, then the doctor can perform a further examination to detect the presence of kidney cancer, such as:
CT scan and MRI scan
The main method of treating kidney cancer is surgery. There are two kinds of surgery, first is nephrectomy. Through this procedure, the doctor will attempt to remove cancer cells by removing a portion of the kidney or even entirely, depending on the size of the tumor diameter.
If the diameter of the tumor is still less than 4 cm, then some parts of the kidneys affected by cancer will be cut by the doctor. Conversely, if the tumor diameter is more than 4 cm, then the kidney should be removed and then the patient will live with one kidney.
Another type of handling is embolization. This procedure is performed by injecting a special substance into the renal vein to inhibit blood flow. With the dissolution of the supply of nutrients or oxygen into the kidney, then gradually the tumor will shrink.
In addition, ways of handling in cases of kidney cancer also include:
- Radiotherapy. Although procedures that use radiation from this radioactive energy cannot cure cancer completely, radiotherapy can reduce pain felt by the patient and can slow the progression of cancer.
- Radiofrequency ablation. This method is often applied by doctors if the severity of kidney cancer is still low (early stage). On the other hand, this step is taken because the patient's condition does not allow for surgery or the position of the cancer is too close to the intestine. In this method, cancer cells will be destroyed by the heat generated from radio waves.
- Cryotherapy. Almost the same as radiofrequency ablation, cryotherapy is performed if the patient's condition does not allow for surgery, for example due to less fit or the size of the tumor is still small. In this method, cancer cells are killed by freezing.