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General Practice 2023

Câkidney cancer: symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment

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Câkidney cancer: symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment
Câkidney cancer: symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment

Kidney cancer, also known as kidney cancer, is a relatively common type of cancer that mainly affects men between 55 and 75 years of age, causing symptoms such as presence of blood in the urine, constant pain in the lower back or increased blood pressure, for example.

Symptoms of kidney cancer usually appear in more advanced stages of the disease and, therefore, to confirm the diagnosis, the nephrologist, urologist or general practitioner may recommend performing an ultrasound to evaluate the characteristics of the kidney.

The most common type of kidney cancer is renal cell carcinoma, which can be easily cured with surgery if identified early. However, if the cancer has already metastasized, treatment may be more difficult and other types of treatment may need to be performed in addition to surgery.

Symptoms of kidney cancer

Symptoms of kidney cancer are uncommon in the early stages of the disease, but as the cancer progresses, some symptoms may arise, the main ones being:

  • Blood in the urine;
  • Swelling or mass in the abdominal region;
  • Constant pain in lower back;
  • Excessive fatigue;
  • Constant weight loss;
  • Constant low fever.

Furthermore, as the kidneys are responsible for regulating blood pressure and participating in the production of red blood cells (red blood cells), a sudden change in blood pressure values, as well as an increase or a marked reduction in the number of red blood cells in the blood test.

How to confirm the diagnosis

The diagnosis of kidney cancer is made by the general practitioner, nephrologist or urologist by evaluating the signs and symptoms presented by the person, in addition to tests such as ultrasound, chest X-ray, computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging.

Ultrasound is usually the first exam to be ordered, as it helps to identify and evaluate possible masses and cysts in the kidney, which may indicate cancer. Other tests can be done to confirm the diagnosis or the evolution of the disease.

How the treatment is done

The treatment of kidney cancer depends on the size and development of the tumor, but the main forms of treatment include:

1. Surgery

It is done in almost all cases and helps to remove the affected part of the kidney. Therefore, when cancer is identified at an early stage, surgery may be the only form of treatment needed, as it may be able to remove all cancer cells and cure the cancer.

In more advanced cases of cancer, surgery can be used together with radiotherapy, for example, to reduce the size of the tumor and facilitate treatment.

2. Biological therapy

This type of treatment uses drugs such as Sunitinib, Pazopanib or Axitinib, which strengthen the immune system and facilitate the elimination of cancer cells.

However, this type of treatment is not effective in all cases and, therefore, the doctor may need to carry out several evaluations during the treatment to adjust doses and even interrupt the use of these drugs.

Who is most at risk

Kidney cancer, in addition to being more common in men over 60, is also more common in people with:

  • BMI greater than 30 kg/m²;
  • Family history of kidney cancer;
  • Genetic diseases such as Von Hippel-Lindau syndrome;
  • Smokers;
  • Obesity.

In addition, those who need to undergo dialysis treatment to filter the blood, due to other kidney problems, are also at greater risk of developing this type of cancer.

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