Kidney Cancer

What Is Kidney Cancer?


The kidneys are a pair of bean-shaped organs, about 4 or 5 inches long, located in the back of the abdomen, protected by the lower rib cage.

Functions :

Kidney Cancer

Cancer that originates in the kidneys is called Kidney Cancer. Cancer is a serious health condition caused by an uncontrolled division of abnormal cells in any part of the body. These abnormal cells grow to form a lump called tumor.

The tumor is said to be benign i.e. non-cancerous if it lacks the ability to grow and spread to other parts of the body. Whereas, if the tumor continues to multiply uncontrollably, and spread to various parts of the body then it is called malignant or cancerous tumors.

Benign tumors respond well to treatment and the prognosis is usually favorable but in some rare scenarios, they may grow to become malignant tumors. Malignant tumors are innately dangerous and the chances of recovery declines with each passing stage.

Types of Kidney Cancer

Renal cell carcinoma

This is the most common type of kidney cancer accounting 90% of occurrence. Although RCC usually grows as a single tumor within a kidney, sometimes multiple tumors may be spotted in one or both kidneys at the same time.

Clear cell renal cell carcinoma

Cancer cells that first appear in the lining of tiny tubes in the kidney are called clear cell renal cell carcinoma. This is the most common form of renal cell carcinoma amounting to 70% of occurrences.

Papillary Renal Cell Carcinoma

This is the second most common sub type amounting to 10% of occurrences. These cancers form little finger-like projections (called papillae).

Chromophobe renal cell carcinoma

This sub type accounts for about 5% of RCCs.

Rare types of renal cell carcinoma

Transitional cell carcinoma

Also called urothelial carcinomas, transitional cell carcinomas generally initiate in the lining of the renal pelvis. This lining is made up of cells called transitional cells.

Wilms tumor

It is also known as nephroblastoma and occurs mostly in children. This type of cancer is very rare among adults.

Occurrence Rate of Kidney Cancer in India

In India, renal cell carcinoma is more frequent in younger people. One-third of the patients are less than 50 yrs of age and only 10.4% patients had tumor of less than 4 cm (T1a). Younger patients less than 39 years of age have relatively lower survival rates.

Anatomy Of Kidney Cancer

What Are The General Symptoms Of Kidney Cancer?

Symptoms for Kidney Cancer may not appear until it’s too late. However, some of the common signs and symptoms are as follows:

However, some of these symptoms may be caused due to less serious ailments as well. Do visit the doctor if you have any of the symptoms.

What Are The General Causes Of Kidney Cancer?

The chances of occurrence of kidney cancer increases with certain factors. These risk factors for Kidney Cancer include :

Can Kidney Cancer Be Prevented?

The exact cause of a particular case of Kidney Cancer cannot be traced accurately, and hence there is no clarity to the preventive measures of this Cancer. However, being alert and taking a few precautions’ comes as a life savior. Here are a few precautions:

Can Kidney Cancer Be Prevented?

Kidney Cancer is staged by measuring the size of the tumor, the location of the Cancer cells either confined to the kidney, locally spread or widespread beyond the fibrous tissue surrounding the kidney

Stage I (T1, N0, M0)
Stage II (T2, N0, M0)
Stage III(T3, M0, N0)
Stage IV

Survival Rates Of Kidney Cancer?

Stage5 year Survival Rate


Survival rates indicate an average outcome of a large number of people who had the disease, but they cannot precisely predict the expectancy of any particular case. The survival rate of Kidney Cancer when detected at an early stage is quite high. People with Kidney Cancer tend to be older and may have other serious health conditions. Therefore, the percentage of people surviving the Cancer itself is likely to be higher.

Can Kidney Cancer Be Detected Early?

Kidney cancer might be indicated by several symptoms like pain, weight loss, fatigue or a lump. In case any of these signs are visible it is recommended to visit a doctor and go for an examination.

What Are The Treatments Available?

Once the stage of cancer and its spread is located then the treatment can be planned. Today owing to the advancement in science and technology, there are several treatment options for Kidney Cancer. Treatments available are dependent on the stages of Cancer; however, surgery to remove the kidney is the most preferred treatment for Kidney Cancer as most of the people can survive well with just 1 kidney or a part of the kidney. Primary treatments available are as follows:

Is There Curative Treatment For Kidney Cancer?

Most of the Kidney Cancers are found before they spread (metastasize) to distant organs. And Cancers caught early are easier to treat successfully. However, when Kidney Cancer spreads, or metastasizes, to other parts of the body, it goes from being one of the most curable types of Cancer to one of the least.


How Frequently Should One Visit Doctor For Early Diagnosis?

In case of experiencing any of the mentioned symptoms or having a prior or familial history, a physical examination by a specialist is recommended once in a year.


How Can I As A Patient Know It Early?

The Kidneys are so deep inside the body; it’s harder to find Kidney Cancer just by looking or feeling for growths. Kidney Cancer often doesn’t cause symptoms until the tumor has already grown. The most common symptom of Kidney Cancer is blood in the urine or hematuria. Being aware of the symptoms and going for regular urine and blood test once a year is highly recommended.