Kidney cancers constitute approximately 3% of all adult cancer cases. It is frequently experienced between the ages 40 and 70, and it is observed twice as often in men compared to women. In our country, approximately 2000 people are diagnosed with renal cancer every year. As in the world, the incidence of renal cancer is increasing in our country. Although the reason for this increase is not known exactly, some risk factors associated with the development of renal cancer have been identified. These are smoking, obesity, high blood pressure, exposure to toxic chemical agents. Genetic causes double the risk of developing the disease.
The classic symptoms of renal cancer are blood in the urine, flank pain and palpable mass. However, these symptoms are observed in only 10-15% of the patients. The disease often progresses insidiously without symptoms, but when it reaches the final stages and spreads to various organs, it causes complaints such as bone pain, cough, jaundice, and weight loss. Most of the patients diagnosed at an early stage are found incidentally during radiological imaging methods performed for another reason. Since survival rate is over 85% with early diagnosis, it is very important that those with a family history of renal cancer and carrying risk factors do pay utmost attention to routine urological controls
The doctor’s anamnesis and physical examination about the patient’s complaints and history are the first steps to reach a diagnosis. In the examination, it is investigated whether there is stiffness or palpable mass, especially in the lateral abdominal regions where the kidneys are located. The patient’s complaints, history, and the doctor’s first evaluation findings are very important for determining future research.
Information is gathered about whether there is bleeding in the urine and the function of the kidneys by examining blood biochemistry and urine analysis as laboratory tests. Renal cancer is usually diagnosed by imaging methods. For this purpose, Ultrasound (US), Tomography (CT), MR imaging and / or PET/CT tests are used.
The main method in the treatment of renal tumours is surgery. Depending on the size and location of the tumour, complete removal of the tumorous kidney (radical nephrectomy) or removal of only the tumorous part (partial nephrectomy) are performed. Nowadays, these operations can be performed with laparoscopic or robotic surgery in appropriate cases.
For suitable patients with small tumors, ablative treatments (microwave thermal ablation, radiofrequency ablation, cryotherapy) can be performed by preserving the kidney and burning only the tumour part. In this way, the tumour part can be destroyed without damaging the kidney.
If the disease has spread to other organs, it is recommended to use targeted therapies and drugs that stimulate the immune system, which have been used in recent years and have very good responses.
My advice for kidney cancer patients is to always be optimistic regardless of the stage of their disease. Because the masses limited to the kidneys detected at an early stage are already largely cured with surgical treatment. In advanced stage disease, thanks to targeted therapies and immunotherapy applied in addition to surgery, significant developments have been achieved in the treatment of this disease in recent years and effective responses have begun to be obtained.
NOTE: The content of the page is for informational purposes only, consult your doctor for diagnosis and treatment.