Kidney cancer, also known as renal cancer, mainly affects men between the ages of 50 and 70. The most common risk factors for this type of cancer are smoking, genetic factors and hemodialysis.
Kidney cancer ranks third in frequency among urological tumors and represents approximately 3% of all tumors in the body. Urology specialists state that the symptoms of kidney cancer include the appearance of blood in the urine (hematuria), flank pain and the appearance of an abdominal mass.
How to diagnose kidney cancer
Currently, more than one third of kidney cancer cases are detected by an imaging test for some other reason. In these cases, the tumor is localized and the prognosis is better than in other cases. Renal cell carcinoma is the most common type of kidney cancer, accounting for more than 90% of malignant kidney tumors. Approximately 80% of people with renal cell carcinoma have clear cell carcinoma.
To diagnose a case of kidney cancer, a detailed medical history with a complete physical examination must be taken. This is followed by a blood test and a urine test, as well as an abdominal ultrasound to identify the renal mass. To complete the study, an abdominal CT scan is necessary to evaluate the extent of the tumor and detect the presence of metastases. Urology specialists state that approximately 30% of patients present metastases at the time of diagnosis.
Treatment of kidney cancer
Surgery is the standard treatment for kidney tumors, since this type of tumor does not respond to chemotherapy or radiotherapy. If the tumor is localized and less than 4cm in size, a partial resection of the kidney is performed. In cases where this is not possible, removal of the kidney, known as radical nephrectomy, is performed.
Follow-up of kidney cancer is done by abdominal ultrasound or abdominal CT scan, whether or not surgery has been performed. The prognosis concludes that the 5-year survival rate according to the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) is 81% stage I, 74% stage II, 53% stage III, 8% stage IV.