What is Kidney Cancer? Kidney Cancer Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

[Toplam: 2 Ortalama: 5]

Kidney cancer develops when kidney cells multiply out of control as a result of mutation. No kidney cancer symptoms are given initially.

How Does Kidney Cancer Occur?

Before making the definition of kidney cancer, let’s take a look at what a kidney is.

 Böbrek kanseri başlangıçta hiçbir belirti vermeyebilir ve birçoğu başka bir nedenle yapılan ultrasonografi tetkiklerinde rastlantısal olarak tespit edilir. Belirti verdiğinde kanser böbreğin idrar süzülen kısmına ulaşmış ya da akciğer kemik gibi organlara yayılmış anlamına gelebilir.

The kidneys are bean-shaped organs weighing approximately 150-200 grams on both sides of the waist area and 10-12 cm long at the back of the abdomen.

A normal person has two pieces on the right and left, and its most important task is to remove harmful substances accumulated in the blood from our body.

Approximately 20% of the blood pumped from the heart passes through the kidneys, which means filtering approximately 1500 liters of blood.

When one of the kidneys has a problem or is removed due to a disease, our other kidney is sufficient for our survival. However, life is not possible unless dialysis is performed in the failure of our two kidneys or due to illness.

Cancer of such an important organ for the survival of our lives also occurs.

Kidney cancer develops due to abnormal uncontrolled proliferation as a result of the mutation of kidney cells, and then it goes to other organs and systems through blood and uncontrolled proliferates there, invading the metastatic sites and rendering them unable to function.

What are the Symptoms of Kidney Cancer?

Kidney cancer may not show any symptoms at the beginning, and most of them are detected incidentally in ultrasonography examinations performed for another reason.

When it shows symptoms, it may mean that the cancer has reached the part of the kidney where urine drains or has spread to organs such as the lung and bone.

The most common symptom is bleeding in the urine microscopically or visually. If the cancer is very large, there may be conditions such as severe flank pain, anemia due to bleeding, and fever, depending on the symptoms of pressure.


Swelling can be seen on the sides of the kidney in terms of kidney cancer diagnosis. In lung involvement, there may be situations such as coughing and bleeding from sputum.

In addition, weight loss, loss of appetite, weakness, kidney failure, bone pain due to bone involvement may occur.

The most important warning symptom is bleeding in the urine and if there is bleeding in the urine, it is vital to consult a urologist for further examination.

bobrek kanseri belirtileri

What are the Nutrition Habits that Trigger Kidney Cancer?

Although the causes of kidney cancer are not known as in other cancers, obesity is one of the three most important risk factors.

Obesity, hypertension, and smoking are the most important risk factors for the development of kidney cancers according to the European urology guideline.

For this reason, a balanced diet, avoiding excessive fatty foods and exercise to preventing obesity are important and recommended in order to prevent kidney cancer.

In the development of kidney cancer, occupational exposures such as metal, chemical rubber, printing industries and genetic family, especially those with early kidney cancer are important and at risk.

How Should We Eat to Protect From Kidney Cancer?

It is necessary to avoid foods that are high in fat and low in protein. It is important to consume more vegetables and fruits.

If we are obese, changing our lifestyle and food habits will reduce our risk of kidney cancer.

We can prefer meat, dairy products, legumes to fatty products. If we increase the consumption of fruits and vegetables a little and add exercise, we can minimize the risk of cancer related to obesity.

Who is at Risk of Kidney Cancer?

Kidney cancers constitute approximately 2-3% of all cancers. It is more common in western countries. Its incidence has increased by 2% in the last 20 years, and this increase is attributed to diet and environmental factors.

Although the disease is most common at the age of 40 and over, it can be seen at any age above the age of 15, albeit rarely.

However, it leaps in the age range of 60-70. It is seen 1.5-2 times more in men than in women.

Smoking, hypertension, and obesity are the 3 most important risk factors. In addition, people working in the lead industry, occupational exposures such as trichlorethylene, metal, rubber printing industries, exposure to asbestos and cadmium, radiation exposures are also at higher risk of developing kidney cancer.

What Should Patients Do in This Case? Which Checks Should Be Performed How Often?

Böbrek kanserlerinin teşhisi nasıl konur

As I said before, no kidney cancer symptoms are observed initially. When cancer cells invade the urinary system, the most important and most common symptom is management bleeding.

This bleeding can either be in the form of visible urine color being red, or it may be in the form of excessive blood cells when we have urinalysis. This is the most important warning sign for us.

There may be various degrees of flank pain and swelling on the same side due to the large growth of the cancerous kidney. There may be symptoms of severe weight loss, anemia, fever and weakness in the last 2 months.

In addition, symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, cough, bloody sputum, bone pain, headache may occur due to involvement of distant organs. It is truly an insidious disease.

Approximately 70% of kidney cancers are detected incidentally in ultrasonography performed for another reason without any symptoms. In fact, patients do not want to accept the disease because they do not have complaints and symptoms at the beginning.

Only after additional analysis can they understand the seriousness. Since it is an insidious disease, I think it is very important for early diagnosis to pass at least annual health checks, especially over the age of 40.

Since the most important symptom here is bleeding in the administration, if we have observed that the color of our urine is different from normal, we should definitely consult a urologist or nephrologist.

In addition, I think and recommend that it is vital for early diagnosis, especially over the age of 40, to undergo an annual full administrative examination, ultrasonography, simple blood test and health checks including tumor markers.

How Is Kidney Cancer Diagnosed?

The diagnosis of kidney cancer is made incidentally at a rate of 70%. Most of the diagnoses made in this way are at an early stage and are easier and more precise to treat.

The diagnosis of the rest is made as a result of tests performed in cases such as bleeding in the urine, excessive weight loss, abdominal mass in that side, anemia, and in this case the disease is more advanced and treatment is more difficult.

Ultrasonography is the first diagnostic tool and then MRI or Computed Tomography is used to confirm this. PET-CT and Bone scintigraphy can be performed to investigate whether there is spread to other organs.

How dangerous is it compared to other types of cancer?

If kidney cancer is diagnosed, if it can be done, the first is the surgical removal of the tumor or tumor kidney. Because the definitive treatment for kidney cancer is surgery.

If the cancer has spread to other organs and cannot be surgically removed, unfortunately, its definitive treatment is not possible. Therefore, early diagnosis is truly lifesaving in kidney cancers.

Chemotherapy can only prolong life for 1-1.5 years. Radiotherapy has no place in treatment. This condition is one of the most important features that distinguish kidney cancers from other cancers and is more dangerous than many.

What are the Stages of Kidney Cancer?

Kidney cancer is made according to the size of cancer tissue in the kidney and the organs it has spread. Basically, it is 4 stages.

In the first stage, the cancer is smaller than 4 cm in diameter and is within the kidney and has no spread.

In the second stage, cancer is within the kidney between 4-7 cm and has no spread.

In the third stage, the cancer is larger than 7 cm and has spread to the great vessels of the kidney.

In the fourth stage, the cancer has spread outside of the kidney, lymph nodes, lungs and other organs.

At Which Stage Is the Surgery Performed?

I have mentioned before that the definitive treatment of kidney cancer is surgical methods. Surgery can be performed in all stages, but getting a definitive solution is the most successful in the first stage, but it is not possible in the fourth stage.

In the first and second stages, we can perform kidney-sparing surgery by taking only a small amount of kidney tissue together with the cancerous part. The results are very promising.

We can perform this surgical procedure called partial nephrectomy as open laparoscopic or robotic. In the third stage, unfortunately, it is necessary to sacrifice the kidney, that is, we perform radical nephrectomy operation. We can perform this surgery, in which the entire kidney is removed, openly and laparoscopically.

In the fourth stage, we take kidney and cancerous tissue to reduce the risk of bleeding and tumor. In the fourth stage, patients should receive chemotherapy. Unfortunately, the treatment response is not good.

What Are Non-Surgical Treatment Methods?

If kidney cancer can be treated, it is surgery. However, cryotherapy, thermotherapy, ultrasonic treatments and various ablation treatments can be performed if the patient is unable to handle the surgery due to his age or additional diseases, or if he has a single kidney and cancer is smaller than 4 cm.

In addition, targeted drug treatments, in other words chemotherapy, can be applied in cases where cancer affects the whole body.

How often should the patient be checked after treatment?

Between stages 1-3, depending on the type of cancer, MRI or tomography of the Lung and abdomen should be performed every 6 months for 2 years.

After two years, annual controls are required, although it varies depending on the type of cancer. In addition, blood and urine analysis should be done during controls.

Does Exercise Help Prevent Kidney Cancer?

Kidney cancer is a higher and important risk factor in those who are obese.

However, of course, it can be seen in non-obese people. Based on the logic that sports and exercise will prevent the development of obesity, we will eliminate one of the three most important factors in kidney cancer development.

In addition, if you do not smoke or quit, we will have less cancer because important risk factors are eliminated.

How Effective Are Genetic Factors In The Formation Of The Disease?

böbrek kanseri tedavisi

Genetic factors are important in kidney cancer, as in all cancers. Approximately 10% depends on genetic factors.

Being at an early age, having more than one cancer in one kidney, cancer in both kidneys, and cancer in other organs such as pancreatic brain are the most important signs that kidney cancer may be genetic.

In Von Hippel Lindau disease, tumoral formations can be seen in both the kidney, the pancreas, and the brain, and it is genetically inherited.

Prof. Dr. Abdullah ArmağanUrology Specialist

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