Kidney cancer is cancer that begins in the kidneys. Your kidneys are two bean-shaped organs, each about the size of your fist. They're located behind your abdominal organs, with one kidney on each side of your spine.
In adults, renal cell carcinoma is the most common type of kidney cancer. Other less common types of kidney cancer can occur. Young children are more likely to develop a kind of kidney cancer called Wilms' tumor.
The incidence of kidney cancer seems to be increasing. One reason for this may be the fact that imaging techniques such as computerized tomography (CT) scans are being used more often. These tests may lead to the accidental discovery of more kidney cancers. Kidney cancer is often discovered at an early stage, when the cancer is small and confined to the kidney.
- Blood in your urine, which may appear pink, red or cola colored
- Pain in your back or side that doesn't go away
- Loss of appetite
- Unexplained weight loss
Older age: Your risk of kidney cancer increases as you age.
Obesity: People who are obese have a higher risk of kidney cancer than people who are considered to have a healthy weight.
High blood pressure (hypertension): High blood pressure increases your risk of kidney cancer.
Treatment for kidney failure: People who receive long-term dialysis to treat chronic kidney failure have a greater risk of developing kidney cancer.
Certain inherited syndromes: People who are born with certain inherited syndromes may have an increased risk of kidney cancer, such as those who have von Hippel-Lindau disease, Birt-Hogg-Dube syndrome, tuberous sclerosis complex, hereditary papillary renal cell carcinoma or familial renal cancer.
Family history of kidney cancer: The risk of kidney cancer is higher if close family members have had the disease.
Quit smoking: If you smoke, quit. Many options for quitting exist, including support programs, medications and nicotine replacement products. Tell your doctor you want to quit, and discuss your options together.
Maintain a healthy weight: Work to maintain a healthy weight. If you're overweight or obese, reduce the number of calories you consume each day and try to be physically active most days of the week
Control high blood pressure: If your blood pressure is high, you can discuss options for lowering your numbers. Lifestyle measures such as exercise, weight loss and diet changes can help. Some people may need to add medications to lower their blood pressure. Discuss your options with your doctor.
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Journal of Kidney Treatment and Diagnosis