Kidney Cancer Prognosis
Kidney cancer also called renal cancer is a disease in which kidney cells become malignant (cancerous) and grow out of control, forming a tumor. Almost all kidney cancers first appear in the lining of tiny tubes (tubules) in the kidney. This type of kidney cancer is called renal cell carcinoma. The good news is that most of kidney cancers are found before they spread (metastasize) to distant organs. And cancers caught early are easier to treat successfully. However, these tumors can grow to be quite large before they are detected.
Around 63,990 new cases of kidney cancer are diagnosed in the United States each year, causing over 14,000 deaths annually. In 2017, 40,610 American men and 23,380 women were expected to receive a diagnosis of kidney cancer.Kidney cancer is one of the 10 most common cancers, affecting about 1 in every 63 people over a lifetime. It occurs more frequently among adults aged between 50 and 80 years.
Risk factors for kidney cancer
- Smoking: If you smoke cigarettes, your risk for kidney cancer is twice that of nonsmokers. Smoking cigars may also increase your risk.
- Being male: Men are about twice as likely as women to get kidney cancer.
- Being obese: Extra weight may cause changes to hormones that increase your risk.
- Using certain pain medications for a long time: This includes over-the-counter drugs in addition to prescription drugs.
- Having advanced kidney disease or being on long-term dialysis, a treatment for people with kidneys that have stopped working
- Having certain genetic conditions, such as von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) disease or inherited papillary renal cell carcinoma
- Having a family history of kidney cancer: The risk is especially high in siblings.
- Being exposed to certain chemicals, such as asbestos, cadmium, benzene, organic solvents, or certain herbicides
- Having high blood pressure: Doctors don't know whether high blood pressure or medication used to treat it is the source of the increased risk.
- Being black: The risk in blacks is slightly higher than in whites. No one knows why.
- Having lymphoma: For an unknown reason, there is an increased risk of kidney cancer in patients with lymphoma.
- Stage 1: The tumor is under 2.8 inches, or 7 centimeters in diameter and it is limited to the kidney.
- Stage 2: The tumor is greater than 2.8 inches, or 7 centimeters, in diameter, and it is still limited to the kidney.
- Stage 3: The cancer is any size but has spread beyond the kidney to at least one other location. It may have reached the adrenal gland, nearby blood vessels, a lymph node, or the fat that surrounds the kidney.
- Stage 4: The cancer has spread beyond the fatty tissue around the kidney, it affects at least one lymph node, or it has spread to other organs.
- Getting an early diagnosis for kidney cancer improves the outlook for patients. A patient who receives a diagnosis at Stage 1 has an 81 percent chance of living for at least another 5 years.
- At Stage 2, there is a 74 percent chance of surviving for another 5 years, at Stage 3, there is a 53 percent chance, and if the disease is diagnosed at Stage 4, the likelihood of surviving 5 years or longer is around 8 percent.
- Not smoking
- Eating plenty of fruit and vegetables
- Exercising regularly
- Keeping the body weight within normal limits for your height, sex, and age
- Getting at least 7 hours good quality continuous sleep every 24 hours
- Maintaining a healthy blood pressure
- Avoiding toxic chemicals
- Blood and urine tests can rule out other possible causes of symptoms such as kidney stones or an infection
- An ultrasound scan can help the doctor identify any change in the shape of the kidney that could be caused by a tumor
- A CT scan normally involves the patient drinking a dye first
- An image-guided biopsy involves using a needle to remove a small sample of kidney tissue for examination under a microscope for cancer cells