By Dr. Vikas Agarwal, Aakash Healthcare
Kidney cancer is one of the 10 most commonly diagnosed cancers. The risk of kidney cancer in men is 2x as compared to women. Old age, smoking, obesity, high blood pressure, long-term dialysis, and a family history of kidney cancer all can increase the risk for kidney cancer.
Some possible signs and symptoms of kidney cancer are blood in urine, low back pain, early fatigue, loss of appetite, weight loss, and unexplained fever.
Like every cancer, kidney cancer is also of many types and is detected early or in advanced stages. Nowadays ultrasound is a common investigation by which we can detect kidney cancer in an early stage. It helps in the differentiation of solid from fluid-filled cyst mass. Usually, kidney cancers are solid. To further confirm cancer or plan treatment, we advise a contrast CT scan which more clearly tells about kidney cancer types or helps in planning surgery.
There is a limited role of PET Scan or kidney biopsy in kidney cancer. If we discuss treatment, surgery is the mainstay of treatment. There is no role of radiotherapy in most kidney cancers.
It is important to note, in small kidney cancer < 4cm, we can save the kidney by removing only the tumor, called Partial Nephrectomy. This surgery can be done more precisely with Robotic technology. Robotic Partial Nephrectomy is recommended for complex, hilar tumors, and solitary kidney cancers. If the tumor is large, we can remove the whole kidney and the patient can survive with another kidney, living a normal life.
The benefits of Robotic surgery are less blood loss, less pain, early discharge from the hospital, and early return to normal activities. Kidney cancers are curable in early stages and life expectancy after successful surgery is good.
On this world kidney day, I wish you a healthy kidney and a healthy life.