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FAQ Frequently asked questions
What is kidney cancer?
Kidney cancer is when abnormal cells replicate uncontrollably in the kidneys. The kidneys are the organs that remove waste products from blood and regulate blood pressure, as well as the blood's electrolyte balance.
What causes kidney cancer?
The cause of DNA damage in kidney cancer is mostly unknown. Cancer in general is due to damage to DNA that results in uncontrolled cell growth. Cancers can grow to invade nearby tissue, or cancer cells can break off and spread throughout the body through the …
What are the symptoms of kidney cancer?
In the early stages of kidney cancer there are no symptoms. In the late stages, symptoms include anemia, weight loss and abdominal pain.
Are there different types of kidney cancer?
The different types of cancer are defined according to the type of cell they start in. Renal cell carcinoma is the most common type. It originates in the renal cells that line the small tubes within the kidney.
What increases the chances of developing kidney cancer?
Kidney cancer is more common in men. Other risk factors include older age, smoking, high blood pressure, obesity, dialysis and a family history of the disease.
How is kidney cancer diagnosed?
Kidney cancer does not usually cause symptoms in the early stages, so if it is detected early, it is often because routine physical examinations for other problems have revealed it. In later stages of kidney cancer, blood may be found in your urine.
How is kidney cancer treated?
Kidney cancer is treated using a combination of surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, targeted therapy and sometimes immunotherapy.
What is the outlook for kidney cancer?
As with any cancer, the outlook for kidney cancer depends on the type and stage of the disease, but the overall five-year survival rate is 72%. Advances in treatment are continually improving these statistics.
About this article
Author: Jonathan Meddings BMedLabSc (Hons)
First answered: 06 Oct 2014
Last reviewed: 19 May 2018
Rating: 4.8 out of 5
Votes: 1121 (Click smiley face below left to rate)
Category: Kidney cancer