30th April 2022
30th April 2022
According to the latest medical research, Kidney cancer is one of the most common cancers in the world. Renal Cell Carcinoma (RCC), Wilms Tumor, and Transitional Cell Carcinoma are the most common kinds of kidney cancer. There are different forms of benign kidney tumors, but they are less dangerous since they are not malignant. In India, the expected incidence of kidney cancer is around 2/100,000 population (males) and roughly 1/100,000 population (females).
The kidney’s primary function is to collect waste and water from the blood and excrete it through the bladder and uterus as urine. Kidneys are also vital endocrine organs for water and salt metabolism, controlling blood pH and aiding in vitamin D metabolism. Kidney cancer develops when healthy cells mutate excessively, resulting in a cluster of cells. It then develops into a tumor on the kidney. Kidney cancer is deadly because the body reveals late signs, generally after the disease has progressed significantly. There is no approved screening test for kidney cancer, unlike other malignancies such as prostate, cervical, or breast. As a result, it often goes unreported, making it critical to raise knowledge about kidney cancer – its symptoms, preventative care, and, most importantly, treatment choices. With this in mind, the worldwide topic for World Kidney Cancer Awareness Day 2022 is – We Need to Talk About Treatment Options.
The origins of kidney cancer are unknown, but prevalent risk factors include obesity, smoking, hypertension, family history, radiation exposure, gene mutations, long-term dialysis therapy, tuberous sclerosis, Von Hippel-Lindau disease, and others. The patient’s tumor size, cancer stage, gender, age, and other medical histories determine the treatment choice.
Usually, in most cases, Surgery suffices to eliminate cancer, especially if it is detected early and confined to the kidneys only. But if cancer has progressed, we must look at other options.
It is usually done when there are specific anomalies inside the tumor. The therapy inhibits these aberrations, causing cancer cells to die. First, a medical diagnosis must be made by evaluating the cancer cells to determine which targeted medications are most likely beneficial.
It is a process of using the body’s immune system to fight cancer. The body’s immune system may not attack cancer because the cancer cells produce proteins that help them hide from detection. Immunotherapy works by interfering with this process. Also, studies have shown that it trains the immune system to remember cancer cells, so this method also proves effective in longer-lasting remissions even after completion of the treatment.
This type of therapy uses high-powered energy beams (protons or X-rays) to burn/kill cancer cells.
Kidney cancer identified in its early stages is curable, while newer breakthroughs in advanced cancer treatment have improved and extended disease management. While one can take preventive measures to avoid renal cancer, the risk is always prevalent due to lifestyle and toxic intake. So, each individual must do regular health check-ups and regular consultations with a specialist, especially if you are in the age group prone to such malignant illness.
About the author: Dr. Raj Nagarkar is the chief of Surgical Oncology and Robotic Services, HCG Manavta Cancer Centre. All views/opinions expressed in the article are of the author.
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