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Cancer of the Kidney: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

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Estimates by the American Cancer Society indicate that about 64,770 people were diagnosed with cancer of the kidney in 2012, and about 13,570 people succumbed to this deadly disease. Cancer of the kidney is caused by malignant growth of cells in the kidney. There are two major types of kidney cancer; renal cell cancer, and transitional cell cancer. Other uncommon types of cancer include Wilms tumor (common among children) and renal sarcoma. Let’s us look at the different causes, symptoms and treatment for the most common types of cancer which are Renal Cell Cancer and Transitional Cell Cancer.

Renal Cell Cancer

This is the most common type of cancer and known to affect men within the age group of 50-70.


- Family history of kidney cancer
- High blood pressure
- Horseshoe kidney- a condition where the two kidneys are connected at the lower part and grow together
- Polycystic kidney disease- a disease characterized by the growth of cysts in the kidney, and
- Smoking


- Back pain
- Blood in the urine
- Weight loss
- Abdominal pain and swelling


- Chemotherapy and radiation aren’t really useful for the treatment of this disease. Chances of surviving diminish sharply once cancer spreads outside the kidney.
- Doctors often recommend s surgery to remove all or parts of the kidney including bladder and the surrounding tissues.

Transitional Cell Cancer

This cancer is formed in the renal pelvis or the tube that carries urine from the kidney to the bladder. This isn’t as common as renal cell cancer. In fact, transitional cell cancer patients do not account for more than 5 per cent of the cancers in the kidney. They are known to affect more men than women, especially men older than 65.


The cause of this problem isn’t known clearly, but certain factors such as exposure to dyes and chemicals used in the manufacture of leather goods, textiles, plastics and rubber, smoking, and patients with a history of bladder cancer.


- Back pain
- Urine in the blood
- Pain and burning sensation during urination
- Tiredness
- Weight loss
- Frequent urination


- Surgery to remove all or parts of the kidney, including bladder and tissues surrounding the bladder. But if the tumor is in the urethra, it is possible to get rid of the tumor without removing the kidney.
- Cancer that is spread outside the kidney can be treated by chemotherapy.

The Author of this article writes about medical ailments and their treatments including diseases such as cancer of the kidney and cancer in the bladder.

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  • Posted On June 11, 2012
  • Published articles 10

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