Kidney Cancer

What Is Kidney Cancer?

Kidney cancer causes about 12,000 deaths each year in the United States alone. Kidney cancer tends to occur in adults after age 50. Twice as many men get kidney cancer as women. Approximately 30,000 patients a year get a kidney cancer diagnosis from their doctor, according to kidney cancer statistics from The American Cancer Society.

Factors that influence a kidney cancer prognosis include, type, grade, stage, location, patient's age, general health, and individual response to treatment. A doctor considering a patient's kidney cancer prognosis will also factor in the most recent kidney cancer survival rate statistics. However, every kidney cancer prognosis is only a doctor's best guess. It's impossible to accurately predict outcomes for every individual patient.

kidney cancerWhen evaluating outcomes, doctors generally look at statistics for the five-year kidney cancer survival rate. The five-year rate is the percentage of people who are alive five years after being diagnosed. For details on recent kidney cancer survival rate statistics, click on kidney cancer survival rate.

There are several types of kidney cancer.

The most common type is called renal cell cancer, or renal cell carcinoma. It occurs in the area of the kidneys that filter blood and produce urine.

Another type of cancer of the kidney is known as transitional cell carcinoma, is a tumor which grows in the area of the kidney where urine collects.

The most common symptom of kidney cancer in adults is the appearance of blood in the urine.

Renal cell carcinoma develops about twice as often in smokers as in nonsmokers. It's estimated that anyone who stops smoking will reduce their chances of getting renal pelvis cancer by fifty percent. Elimainting smoking would probably cut renal cell carcinoma by one third.

Kidney cancer tends to appear in different forms in children and adults.

The main type of kidney cancer in children is Wilms tumor, which begins to develop while the fetus is still in the womb. Wilms' tumor accounts for about six percent of childhood cancer cases.

Wilm's tumor may be quite large by the time it's diagnosed, which is typically around age three. Wilms tumor may be caused by certain congenital defects. There's an increased incidence among siblings and twins. The tumor may cause a noticeable mass and there can also be pain and discomfort in the abdominal area.

In a minority of cases, blood in the urine occurs.

As happens with many other types of cancer, kidney cancer cells can spread through the lymphatic system and grow elsewhere the body. When this occurs, it is called metastatic kidney cancer. The new tumor is called the metastatic tumor. In other words, if cells from cancer of the kidney break away and spread to the liver, the cancer is still considered to be a form of kidney cancer, not liver cancer.

As with most types of cancer, the earlier kidney cancer is detected, the higher the survival rate. Tumors often respond well to treatment if they are diagnosed early.

Treatment options include surgery, hormone therapy, biological therapy, embolization, chemotherapy and radiation therapy.