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Who Is Most Likely To Get Kidney Cancer

What Can I Do To Reduce My Chances Of Getting Kidney Cancer

Kidney Cancer Symptoms and Treatment

To help reduce the risk of getting kidney cancer:

  • Be aware of your family history and discuss any concerns with your health care provider.
  • Do not smoke. If you currently smoke, quit. Avoid exposure to second hand smoke. For more information on quitting smoking, visit the NYS Smoker’s Quitline at or call 1-866-NY-QUITS.
  • Choose a healthy diet to achieve and maintain a healthy weight. Eat more vegetables, fruits and whole grains and eat less red and processed meats. These actions may reduce the risk of developing many types of cancer as well as other diseases.
  • Exercise regularly.

Is Surgery An Option

Since the average age at diagnosis is 64, half of kidney cancer patients are over age 65, which can make surgery a riskier proposition. Those who may be good candidates to remove a tumour are those whose cancer was caught early, says Dr. Abel. On the other hand, if a patient has co-existing heart or lung disease , having surgery may be too dangerous. Your doctor will help weigh the risks versus benefits of surgery depending on the characteristics of the tumour and personal health history.

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

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Kidney Cancer Inherited Risk

Factors that increase risk

Factors that decrease risk

  • Quitting cigarette smoking. Many cases of kidney cancer are believed to be caused by cigarette smoking. Quitting smoking can reduce a person’s risk of kidney cancer greatly, and the risk continues to decrease each year a person has been smoke-free.
  • Maintaining a healthy weight. Obesity and high blood pressure are risk factors for kidney cancer. Eating a healthy diet that is high in fruits and vegetables and exercising can help lower a person’s blood pressure and weight, which reduces the overall chance of developing kidney cancer.
  • Avoid chemical exposures. Studies have shown that cadmium and organic solvents may increase a person’s risk for developing kidney cancer. Avoiding these substances may reduce a person’s overall risk. If a person works around hazardous chemicals, it is important to practice safety procedures to avoid accidental exposures.

Inherited kidney cancer clues

About 5-8 percent of cases of renal cell carcinoma, which is a type of kidney cancer, are due to an inherited gene change. Some clues of an inherited kidney cancer pattern are:

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Types Of Kidney Cancer

There are several types and subtypes of kidney cancer. The location and kind of tumor determine which kind you have.

The main types of kidney cancer are renal cell carcinoma , transitional cell carcinoma , and Wilms’ tumor. RCC and TCC affect older adults. Wilms’ tumor occurs in children. RCC also has several subtypes that can impact treatment and prognosis.

What Is The Outlook For People With Kidney Cancer

The chance of recovery depends on the type and stage of cancer . The chance of recovery also depends on the patient’s general state of health.

Like most cancers, kidney cancer is most able to be treated if it is found in its early stages. In general, if the cancer is detected early, before it breaks through the outer covering of the kidney, kidney cancer is often curable.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 12/08/2016.


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Body Weight And Height

Being overweight or very overweight increases the risk of getting kidney cancer. This causes 24 out of every 100 kidney cancers . So around a quarter of kidney cancers.

Overweight means that your body mass index is between 25 and 39.9 and obese means that your BMI is 30 or higher. Your BMI is worked out by using your height and weight.

Being overweight causes changes in hormones in the body, particularly for women. It could be this change in the bodys hormone balance that increases the risk of kidney cancer.

Treatments For Kidney Cancer

Kidney Cancer: Treatments for Kidney Cancer

The treatment for kidney cancer depends on the size of the cancer and whether it has spread to other parts of your body.

The main treatments are:

  • surgery to remove part or all of the affected kidney this is the main treatment for most people
  • cryotherapy or radiofrequency ablation where the cancerous cells are destroyed by freezing or heating
  • biological therapies medicines that help stop the cancer growing or spreading
  • embolisation a procedure to cut off the blood supply to the cancer
  • radiotherapy using high-energy radiation to target cancer cells and relieve symptoms

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Fever Without A Cold Flu Or Other Infection

Any time your body temperature rises, its an indication that your immune system is doing battle with some type of intruder. That could be a virus, bacteria, or potentially a tumour. If youre getting night sweats or feeling flushed, start monitoring your temperature. In the absence of obvious symptoms of another infectionlike coughing, sneezing, or muscle aches running a fever is a symptom to bring up with your doctor.

How Does It Happen

These organs’ main job is to filter waste from your blood and make pee. But they also help control your blood pressure and make sure you have enough red blood cells. Kidney cancer, also called renal cell carcinoma, happens when cells in one or both of them start to grow out of control and form a tumor that crowds out healthy cells. This kind of cancer is one of the 10 most common in both men and women.

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The Stages Of Kidney Cancer

Kidney cancer staging relies on the TNM system. This system was created by the American Joint Committee on Cancer:

  • T: Size and localized spread of the original tumor
  • N: How much spread has occurred in lymph nodes located near the original tumor
  • M: Metastasis outside of the kidney into other organs and distant lymph nodes

Stage 1: Stage 1 is the first stage of kidney cancer. When kidney cancer is found during stage 1, youll have the most optimistic five-year relative survival rate. A stage 1 tumor is smaller than 7 centimeters and has not spread outside of the kidney. There is no cancer in the lymph nodes and no metastasis.

Stage 2: In this stage, the tumor is larger than 7 centimeters, but still hasnt spread outside of the kidney.

Stage 3: Stage 3 is a more aggressive cancer. In this stage, the tumor has either spread into a large vein and nearby tissue, or it is a tumor of any size that has spread outside of the kidney into lymph nodes located nearby.

Stage 4: Stage 4 renal cancer has the least favorable prognosis. Kidney cancer is stage 4 if the primary tumor has entered the adrenal gland, located on top of the kidney. Kidney cancer may also be considered stage 4 if it is a tumor of any size and has metastasized to other parts of the body, including distant lymph nodes or other organs.

Tests For Kidney Cancer

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Kidney Cancer?

Your doctor may do some tests to check for kidney cancer:

  • urine tests for signs of kidney cancer
  • blood tests to check your general health.

Your doctor might ask you to have further tests. These are some the tests you may have:

  • ultrasound a scan on the outside of your abdomen to check for cancer
  • CT scan a scan that takes pictures of the inside of the body
  • MRI scan a scan that uses magnetism and radio waves to take pictures of the inside of the body
  • bone scan a scan that uses dye to show changes in your bones
  • cystoscopy the doctor puts a small camera into your bladder to see inside
  • biopsy the doctor takes a small sample of the cells from the kidney to check for signs of cancer.

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People At Average Risk

Typically, someone at average or low risk of kidney cancer wont undergo screenings. They discover the disease only if they go to a doctor for another medical issue or symptoms they dont believe are related to a serious disease.

  • Urinalysis This could detect small amounts of blood in a urine sample. Sometimes blood in the urine could result from kidney stones, urinary tract infections, or another medical problem. Even if someone does have kidney cancer, they might not have blood in their urine if the tumor is small or has not spread.

  • Imaging Magnetic resonance imaging and computed tomography scans could detect small forms of kidney cancer however, they are expensive. If you dont have health insurance, you could end up spending thousands of dollars. An ultrasound is a cheaper option and could discover an early type of kidney cancer. Unfortunately, imaging tests cant distinguish between benign tumors and renal cell carcinomas.

What Are The Symptoms Of Kidney Cancer

Kidney cancer may not produce any noticeable symptoms in its early stages. However, as the tumor grows, symptoms may begin to appear. For that reason, kidney cancer is often not diagnosed until it has begun to spread.

Symptoms of kidney cancer can include:

  • Blood in the urine .
  • A lump or mass in the kidney area.
  • Pain in the side.
  • A general sense of not feeling well.
  • Loss of appetite and/or weight.
  • Low-grade fever.
  • Anemia .

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Diagnosis: Urine And Blood Tests

Your doctor will give you an exam. If they think you might have kidney cancer, they’ll probably start with urinalysis, which tests your pee for blood or cancer cells. They also might do a blood test to see how well your kidneys are working and a complete blood count to make sure you have a healthy number of white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets. People with kidney cancer often have anemia — when you don’t have enough red blood cells.

Who Gets Kidney Cancer

The Kidney and Kidney Cancers | UCLA Urology

Kidney cancer is more common among older people and occurs more often among men than women and among Whites than Blacks. The risk of getting kidney cancer increases with age, most often occurring in people over the age of 50. However, kidney cancer does occur among children. About 40 children are diagnosed with kidney cancer each year in New York State, most with Wilm’s tumor, the most common kidney cancer in children.

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“Education around the disease is one of the best methods of prevention, so we are urging people to look out for the symptoms associated with kidney cancer, visit their GP if they show any concerning signs.

“For anyone who is unfamiliar with the symptoms that can be associated with kidney cancer, they are blood in urine , long-term pain in the back or flank or fatigue.”

Kidney cancer, also called renal cancer, is one of the most common in the UK.

Generally it affects people in their 60s or 70s, and is quite rare in the under-50s.

If it’s found early it can often be cured, but this may not be possible if it’s diagnosed after it has spread beyond the kidneys.

Symptoms include:

  • a persistent pain in your lower back or side, just below your ribs
  • a lump or swelling in your side
  • coughing up blood
  • in men – swelling in the testicles

The exact cause of kidney cancer is unknown, but some things can increase your chances of getting it, including:

  • obesity a body mass index of 30 or more
  • smoking the more you smoke, the greater the risk
  • high blood pressure
  • family history you’re more likely to get kidney cancer if you have a close relative with it
  • some inherited genetic conditions
  • long-term dialysis a treatment for chronic kidney disease where a machine does some of the jobs of the kidneys

Genetics And Family History

People who have family members with bladder cancer have a higher risk of getting it themselves. Sometimes this may be because the family members are exposed to the same cancer-causing chemicals . They may also share changes in some genes that make it hard for their bodies to break down certain toxins, which can make them more likely to get bladder cancer.

A small number of people inherit a gene syndrome that increases their risk for bladder cancer. For example:

  • A mutation of the retinoblastoma gene can cause cancer of the eye in infants, and also increases the risk of bladder cancer.
  • Cowden disease, caused by mutations in the PTEN gene, is linked mainly to cancers of the breast and thyroid. People with this disease also have a higher risk of bladder cancer.
  • Lynch syndrome is linked mainly to colon and endometrial cancer. People with this syndrome might also have an increased risk of bladder cancer .

For information on testing for inherited gene changes that increase cancer risk, see Understanding Genetic Testing for Cancer.

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Why Is Yale Medical’s Approach To Kidney Cancer Unique

Our doctors combine breakthrough technology and cutting-edge medicine with patient-focused, compassionate care. We understand how complex a diagnosis of kidney cancer is for our patients, and provide them with all available resources to better understand their treatment options.

We also know the vital role that families and loved ones play in the support system needed for recovery.

Finally, we offer clinical trials for eligible patients, providing treatments not available elsewhere, says Dr. Brito. Participating in clinical trials also advances care, helping further our understanding of the disease itself with the goal of developing new treatment options.

New Cases And Death Rates

Diagram showing kidney cancer 297617 Vector Art at Vecteezy

For reasons that are not totally clear, the rate of new kidney cancers has been rising since the 1990s, although this seems to have leveled off in the past few years. Part of this rise was probably due to the use of newer imaging tests such as CT scans, which picked up some cancers that might never have been found otherwise. The death rates for these cancers have remained stable for many years.

Survival rates for people diagnosed with kidney cancer are discussed in Survival Rates for Kidney Cancer.

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Hidden Sign: A Bulge In Your Abdomen Side Or Lower Back

Not to alarm you, but youd probably have no idea if the beginnings of cancer were brewing in your kidneys. Because the kidneys are located very deep in your body, patients feel very few or no symptoms in the early stages of cancer, says Dr. Abel. Rarely, a patient will feel a tumour as one of the signs of kidney cancer if this happens, the tumour may be in an advanced stage.

Arsenic In Drinking Water

Arsenic in drinking water has been linked with a higher risk of bladder cancer in some parts of the world. The chance of being exposed to arsenic depends on where you live and whether you get your water from a well or from a public water system that meets the standards for low arsenic content. For most Americans, drinking water isn’t a major source of arsenic.

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If I Have Cancer In One Kidney What Are The Chances Of It Spreading To The Other One

Like many forms of cancer, kidney cancer can potentially spread to other parts of the body, such as lymph nodes, bones and other organs. When this occurs, the condition is known as metastatic renal cell carcinoma. Patients with a personal history of kidney cancer in one kidney are at slightly higher risk of development of kidney cancer in their other kidney, but the absolute risk for this is relatively small.

Other Types Of Cancerous Kidney Tumors

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Renal Cell Carcinoma makes up 95% of kidney tumors. 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.

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