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How Do You Get Kidney Cancer

Other Types Of Cancerous Kidney Tumors

Kidney Cancer: What You Need to Know

Less common types of cancerous tumors in the kidney include:

  • Urothelial Carcinoma: arise from the renal pelvis and resemble bladder cancer cells. These are genetically similar to urothelial cancer of the bladder and have similar risk factors such as cigarette smoking and occupational exposures to certain cancer-causing chemicals.
  • Wilms Tumor: a rare pediatric malignancy in children 2-5.
  • Renal Sarcoma: a rare type of kidney cancer arising from the connective tissue.
  • Benign Kidney Tumors

Some types of kidney tumors are benign meaning they do not have the ability to spread . Often these are treated unnecessarily. The UCLA Kidney Cancer Program is committed to identification and observation of these tumors:

  • Renal Adenoma: small, slow growing, benign tumors < 1 cm.
  • Oncocytoma: a renal tumor that can grow large but not spread. It often resembles kidney cancer on a biopsy. The UCLA Kidney Cancer Program has molecular imaging modalities to identify these types of tumors non-invasively.
  • Angiomyolipoma: a benign tumor containing fat, vessels, and muscle. When large they can bleed so treatment is advised when > 4 cm.

Cancer Prognosis What Actually Is It

If youre diagnosed with kidney cancer, you may wonder about how serious it is and your chances of survival. But, you will face a lot of unknowns.

In fact, its not always easy for people with cancer to understand what the prognosis means. The good news along with early diagnosis, new treatments are now helpful a lot for them to live longer than ever before.

The prediction of how your cancer will improve and go is called prognosis. In other words, cancer prognosis is the chance /outlook of recovery from the cancer.

Its difficult or even almost impossible to exactly predict what will happen for each case. But in general, some factors and conditions can be used to help estimate the cancer prognosis.

There are many factors that can have an effect on your prognosis. The main ones include:

  • The kind of cancer that you have and where it grows. Kidney cancer has several types, some may become aggressive and more difficult to treat .
  • The cancer grade. It points to how abnormal the cancer cells appear if compared to normal cells. This can be closely observed under a microscope. The more abnormal they look the greater chance they grow, spread, and become aggressive.
  • The stage of the cancer, which points to how large the cancer has grown and how far it has spread.
  • Other factors such as your overall health, age, and how well you respond to the treatment.
  • Outlook After An Rcc Diagnosis

    The outlook after being diagnosed with RCC depends largely on whether the cancer has spread and how soon treatment is started. The sooner its caught, the more likely you are to have a full recovery.

    If the cancer has spread to other organs, the survival rate is much lower than if its caught before spreading.

    According to the National Cancer Institute, the five-year survival rate for RCC is over

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    Rare Types Of Kidney Cancer

    Rare kidney cancers occur most frequently in children, teenagers, and young adults.

    Papillary renal cell carcinoma

    • 15% of all renal cell carcinomas
    • Tumor located in the kidney tubes
    • Type 1 PRCC is more common and grows slowly
    • Type 2 PRCC is more aggressive and grows more quickly

    Translocation renal cell carcinoma

    • Accounts for 1% to 5% of all renal cell carcinomas and 20% of childhood caces
    • Tumor located in the kidney
    • In children, TRCC usually grows slowly often without any symptoms
    • In adults, TRCC tends to be agressive and fast-growing

    What Are The Types Of Kidney Cancer

    Kidney Abscesses (Renal Abscess) Symptoms

    The information in this document refers to renal cell carcinoma the most common form of kidney cancer. However, there are different types of kidney cancer, including:

    • Renal cell carcinoma : This is the most common form of kidney cancer in adults and accounts for 85% of all kidney cancers. Renal cell carcinoma usually develops as a single tumor in one kidney, but it can affect both kidneys. Renal cell carcinoma begins in the cells that line the small tubes that are part of the nephrons within the kidneys. .
    • Transitional cell carcinoma: Transitional cell carcinoma accounts for 6% to 7% of all kidney cancers. This cancer usually begins in the area where the ureter connects to the main part of the kidney. This area is called the renal pelvis. Transitional cell carcinoma also can occur in the ureters or bladder.
    • Renal sarcoma: This is the least common form of kidney cancer, accounting for only 1% of kidney cancer cases. It begins in the connective tissues of the kidneys and, if not treated, can spread to nearby organs and bones.
    • Wilms’ tumor: This is the most common type of kidney cancer in children. It accounts for about 5% of kidney cancers.

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    What Is The Outlook

    The outlook is best in those whose cancer is diagnosed when it is still confined within a kidney and has not spread, and who are otherwise in general good health. Surgical removal of an affected kidney in this situation gives a good chance of cure. However, many people with kidney cancer are diagnosed when the cancer has already spread. In this situation a cure is less likely. However, treatment can often slow down the progression of the cancer.

    The response to treatment can also vary from case to case. This may be partly related to the exact subtype or grade of the cancer. Some kidney cancers, even some which are advanced and have spread, respond much better to immunotherapy than others.

    The treatment of cancer is a developing area of medicine. New treatments continue to be developed and the information on outlook above is very general. The specialist who knows your case can give more accurate information about your particular outlook, and how well your type of cancer and stage of cancer are likely to respond to treatment.

    The Kidneys And Cancer

    The kidneys are two bean-shaped organs located on either side of the body, just underneath the ribcage.

    Their main role is to filter out waste products from the blood, in addition to producing urine. Only one of the kidneys is usually affected by cancer.

    The human body is made up of billions of cells, which normally grow and multiply in an orderly way, with new cells being created only when and where they’re needed. In cancer, this orderly process goes wrong and cells begin to grow and multiply uncontrollably.

    Exactly what triggers this growth is unknown however, there are certain risk factors that can increase the chances of the condition developing, such as smoking and obesity.

    Kidney cancer most frequently affects people over 50 years of age and is more common among men.

    Read more about the causes of kidney cancer.

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    Localized/early Transitional Cell Carcinomas Of Bladder

    Transitional cell carcinomas can be very difficult to treat. Treatment for localized stage transitional cell carcinomas is surgical resection of the tumor, but recurrence is common. Some patients are given into the bladder either as a one-off dose in the immediate post-operative period or a few weeks after the surgery as a six dose regimen.

    Localized/early transitional cell carcinomas can also be treated with infusions of into the bladder. These are given weekly for either 6 weeks or 3 weeks . Side effects include a small chance of developing systemic or the patient becoming sensitized to BCG, causing severe intolerance and a possible reduction in bladder volume due to scarring.

    In patients with evidence of early muscular invasion, radical curative surgery in the form of a cysto-prostatectomy usually with lymph node sampling can also be performed. In such patients, a bowel loop is often used to create either a “neo-bladder” or an “ileal conduit” which act as a place for the storage of urine before it is evacuated from the body either via the urethra or a urostomy respectively.

    Screening Information For Kidney Cancer

    Youre Told You Have Kidney Cancer: Now What?

    Routine screening tests to detect early kidney cancer are not available. Doctors may recommend that people with a high risk of the disease have imaging tests to look inside the body. For people with a family history of kidney cancer, CT scans or renal ultrasounds are sometimes used to search for early-stage kidney cancer. However, CT scans have not been proven to be a useful screening tool for kidney cancer for most people.

    The next section in this guide is Symptoms and Signs. It explains what body changes or medical problems kidney cancer can cause. Use the menu to choose a different section to read in this guide.

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    Advanced Or Metastatic Transitional Cell Carcinomas

    First-line regimens for advanced or metastatic transitional cell carcinomas consists of and ) or a combination of , , , and .

    Taxanes or have been used as second-line therapy .

    such as is often used as second-line therapy for metastatic urothelial carcinoma that has progressed despite treatment with GC or MVAC.

    In May 2016, the FDA granted to for locally advanced or metastatic treatment after failure of cisplatin-based chemotherapy. The failed to achieve its of .

    In April 2021, the FDA granted accelerated approval to for people with locally advanced or metastatic urothelial cancer who previously received a platinum-containing chemotherapy and either a programmed death receptor-1 or a programmed death-ligand 1 inhibitor.

    Adjuvant And Neoadjuvant Therapy

    , which refers to therapy given after a primary surgery, has not been found to be beneficial in renal cell cancer. Conversely, is administered before the intended primary or main treatment. In some cases neoadjuvant therapy has been shown to decrease the size and stage of the RCC to then allow it to be surgically removed. This is a new form of treatment and the effectiveness of this approach is still being assessed in .

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    Assessing The Extent And Spread

    If you are found to have a kidney cancer then other tests are likely to be advised. These may include one or more of: a CT scan or magnetic resonance imaging scan of the abdomen and chest, a chest X-ray, kidney function blood tests and sometimes other tests. This assessment is called staging of the cancer.

    The aim of staging is to find out:

    • How much the tumour in the kidney has grown and whether it has grown to the edge, or through the outer part of the kidney.
    • Whether the cancer has spread to local lymph glands .
    • Whether the cancer has spread to other areas of the body .

    Finding out the stage of the cancer helps doctors to advise on the best treatment options. It also gives a reasonable indication of outlook . See the separate leaflet called Stages of Cancer for more details.

    If You Only Have One Kidney

    New paradigms in managing chronic kidney disease

    There are a number of reasons that may make people have only one kidney. These include:

  • Some people are born with only 1 kidney, a condition called renal agenesis. There is also a condition called kidney dysplasia .
  • To treat particular condition , one kidney can be removed with surgery.
  • Another reason is for donation. Some people lose one of their two kidneys and give it to a person who needs kidney transplantation.
  • The good news, people with only one kidney can still have healthy lives. Even most of them have few or no problems, especially in the first years.

    However two is better than one

    The chance of having some slight loss in kidney function is greater in people with 1 kidney. Having single kidney at birth or due to removed in childhood will lead to decreased kidney function about 25 years later in life. It seems that the problem takes years to develop.

    The good news, this loss in kidney function is usually mild, not serious and life span is normal.

    One healthy kidney should be enough and work as well as two. But remember, having one kidney means you need to be more careful to look after it.

    Can you participate in sports?

    Getting plenty of physical activity is important for your overall health. In fact, exercise can play a key role to keep your kidney healthy.

    If you do need to participate in contact sports, talk with your doctor first! Try to always consider whether the risk outweighs the advantage!

    Is there any specific diet to follow?
    What else?

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    Further Tests After Diagnosis

    If the tests show you have kidney cancer, your doctor may want to do some further tests. These tests will help them find out the size and position of the cancer and whether it has spread to other parts of the body. This is called staging and will help you and your doctor decide on the best treatment for you. These may include some of the following tests:

    • CT scan

      A CT scan takes a series of x-rays, which build up a three-dimensional picture of the inside of the body.

    • MRI scan

      Some people have an MRI scan instead of, or as well as, as CT scan. It uses magnetism to build up a detailed picture of areas of your body.

    • Chest x-ray

      If you do not have a CT scan of the chest, you will have a chest x-ray to check the health of your lungs.

    Waiting for test results can be a difficult time. We have more information that can help.

    How Is Kidney Cancer Treated

    Treatment depends on the type of cancer, the stage, and grade of the tumor, and the patient’s age and overall health.

    Surgery is the most common treatment for kidney cancer. Several surgical options may be considered, including:

    • Partial nephrectomy: The surgeon removes just the part of the kidney that contains the tumor.
    • Radical nephrectomy: The surgeon removes the whole kidney and some of the tissue around the kidney. Some lymph nodes in the area also may be removed.

    When one kidney is removed, the remaining kidney usually is able to perform the work of both kidneys.

    Surgery is the treatment of choice for most stages of kidney cancer. For chemotherapy for kidney cancer, there are many relatively new agents that block the blood flow to the tumor and put it into remission. These medications are typically taken by mouth and are generally well tolerated. The other approach is to use medication that activates the bodys own immune system to fight the tumor.

    Some people with kidney cancer participate in clinical trials. Clinical trials are research programs conducted with patients to evaluate new medical treatments, drugs or devices. Clinical trials also are being conducted on new chemotherapy drugs and on new ways to use biological therapy for patients with kidney cancer.

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    Ways To Prepare For Kidney Cancer Management And Treatment

    Here are some steps you can take now to ready yourself for kidney cancer treatment and what you can expect in the weeks and months ahead.

    1. Read everything you can about your particular kidney cancer. Cancer is first classified by stage, from 1 to 4 . Cancer stage is largely based on the size of the tumor, how it involves the kidney and the area right around the kidney, and the presence of it spreading somewhere else, Dr. Hall says. Kidney cancer is also defined by type: About 9 out of 10 cases of kidney cancer are renal cell carcinoma, according to the ACS. When people go online and read about kidney cancer, thats often what they find information about, Hall says. The treatment your doctor recommends will depend on the type of kidney cancer you have, how advanced the disease is, your overall health, and other factors, so understanding the details of your kidney cancer will be essential to making informed choices about your treatment.

    3. Understand who will be on your care team. Who is on your treatment team will depend on how advanced your cancer is and how it will be treated. If its in the early stages, a surgeon will most likely remove part or all of the affected kidney. If the cancer has spread beyond your kidneys, youll most likely be referred to an oncologist. According to the ACS, you may also have nurses, psychologists, nutritionists, or other specialists on your care team.

    Things To Know If Youre Diagnosed With Kidney Cancer

    Kidney Cancer Symptoms and Treatment

    Kidney cancer isnt what youd call rarein fact, according to statistics from the American Cancer Society, its on pace to be the eighth most commonly diagnosed cancer in the United States this year. But its not a familiar disease. While most people could probably rattle off a couple of facts about breast, lung, or prostate cancer , or about endometrial cancer or leukemia , chances are theyd draw a blank if asked about renal-cell cancer or any other variety of kidney cancer. That lack of information can add to the fear experienced by the nearly 74,000 Americans who will receive a kidney-cancer diagnosis this year. And thats unfortunatebecause when it comes to kidney cancer, a little knowledge can actually be a reassuring thing.

    If youve recently received a diagnosis of kidney cancer, here are some key points that can make you feel more in control and help you get the treatment you need.

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    What Are The Symptoms Of Kidney And Renal Pelvis Cancers

    A person with kidney or renal pelvis cancer may or may not have one or more of the symptoms listed here. The same symptoms can also come from other causes. If you have any of these symptoms, talk to your doctor.

    • Blood in the urine.
    • A lump or swelling in the kidney area or abdomen.
    • Lower back pain or pain in the side that doesnt go away.
    • Feeling tired often.
    • Fever that keeps coming back.
    • Not feeling like eating.
    • Losing weight for no reason that you know of.
    • Something blocking your bowels.


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