St. Helena Kidney Cancer Treatment

We treat all types of kidney cancers

Kidneys are responsible for removing waste from the blood and creating urine. Kidney cancer, also known as renal cancer, occurs when the kidney cells start rapidly dividing and do not perform correctly.

These abnormal cells will start overwhelming and attacking healthy cells until the kidney can no longer function. They will then attempt to spread to other parts of the body.

Thankfully, symptoms of kidney cancer are usually noticeable before it spreads. The earlier your doctor can diagnose kidney cancer, the better your chances are for recovery.

The three primary types of kidney cancer

There are three main types of kidney cancer. Some of these are more likely to affect adults, while others are more common in children.

  • Renal cell cancer: This is the most common type of kidney cancer in adults between the ages of 50 and 70. Some risk factors for renal cell cancer include hepatitis C, excessive use of over the counter pain medications, smoking and obesity.
  • Wilms tumor: This is the most common type of kidney cancer in children. These cancers usually only affect one kidney, which is good news for treatment. Wilms tumors are rare, and screening is usually only recommended for children who were born with birth defects linked to the disease.
  • Transitional cell cancer: This form of cancer occurs in the renal pelvis and ureter of adults. Though rare, this form of cancer is worth mentioning because it starts in the renal pelvis that connects the ureters to the kidneys. The symptoms and treatment methods are similar to renal cell cancer.

Diagnosis and treatment

Kidney cancers are most common in people who have smoked for a long time and frequently take over-the-counter pain medications such as ibuprofen. It is also more likely in men, people with high blood pressure and people struggling with obesity.

The symptoms of kidney cancer do not usually begin until the tumor has grown to a substantial size. These symptoms may include:

  • Blood in urine
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Anemia (shortage of red blood cells)
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Chronic pain in the side
  • Loss of appetite
  • A lump in the side of the abdomen

Kidney cancer can be diagnosed through a urine test, blood test, ultrasound, CT scan or MRI. Surgery is usually the first treatment, provided the cancer has not yet spread. Radiation and chemotherapy may follow to destroy any lingering cancer cells.