Kidney cancers constitute approximately 3% of all adult cancer cases. It frequently occurs between the ages of 40 and 70, and it is seen twice as often in men compared to women. In our country, approximately 2000 people are diagnosed with kidney cancer every year.
As in the world, the incidence of kidney cancer is increasing in our country. Although the reason for this increase is not known exactly, some risk factors associated with the development of kidney cancer have been identified. These are smoking, obesity, high blood pressure, exposure to toxic chemical agents and genetic causes that doubles the risk of developing the disease.
Although the classic symptoms of kidney cancer are known as blood in the urine, flank pain and palpable mass, these symptoms are observed only in a small proportion of 10-15% of 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, weight loss.
Most of the patients diagnosed at an early stage are detected incidentally during imaging performed for another reason. Since survival is over 85% with early diagnosis, it is very important that those with a family history and carrying risk factors do not interfere with their routine urological controls.The main method in the treatment of kidney tumors is surgery. Depending on the size and location of the tumor, complete removal of the tumor kidney (radical nephrectomy) or removal of only the tumor part (partial nephrectomy) are performed. Nowadays, these operations can be performed laparoscopically in appropriate cases.In suitable patients, only the burning of the tumor part, which we call follow-up or ablative treatments, can be applied. 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.