More About World Kidney Day
Comprehensive Cancer Centers honors and recognizes those with kidney cancer by celebrating World Kidney Day. The World Kidney Day Steering Committee has declared 2021 the year of “Living Well with Kidney Disease.” This has been done in order to both increase education and awareness about effective symptom management and patient empowerment, with the ultimate goal of encouraging life participation.
While effective measures to prevent kidney disease, and its progression are important, patients with kidney disease – including those who depend on dialysis and transplantation – and their care-partners should also feel supported, especially during pandemics and other challenging periods, by the concerted efforts of kidney care communities.
Taking Charge of Kidney Cancer
Comprehensive Cancer Centers urges everyone to become better aware of risk factors and signs and symptoms to detect kidney cancer as early as possible. As noted above, living with the disease is challenging and some of those challenges may be mitigated with early detection and treatment.
Risk Factors for Kidney Cancer:
- Family history: People with family members, especially siblings, who have had cancer are at an increased risk.
- Smoking: Smoking may increase risk of getting cancer.
- High blood pressure: The risk is higher in people with high blood pressure.
- Certain medicines: A once popular pain-reliever called phenacetin and some prescriptions used to treat high blood pressure may be linked.
- Advanced kidney disease: People with advanced kidney disease and need to be on dialysis are at a higher risk.
- Lack of exercise: People who are not active and/or are overweight have a higher risk.
Signs and Symptoms of Kidney Cancer:
- Lower back pain on one side
- Unexplained weight loss
- Swelling in ankles and legs
- Persistent fever not from an infection
Patients experiencing any of these symptoms should consult a physician.
Screening for Kidney Cancer
There are no recommended screening tests for kidney cancer in people who are not at increased risk. This is because no test has been shown to lower the overall risk of dying from kidney cancer.
Sometimes kidney cancer is detected when imaging tests such as CT scans or MRIs are performed for other illnesses, such as gallbladder disease. For patients with an increased risk of kidney cancer, imaging tests may be recommended to specifically screen for kidney tumors.
Kidney Cancer Treatment Options
If cancer is suspected, the patient should be referred to a Comprehensive Cancer Centers oncologist who will conduct tests and determine the appropriate treatment plan. Common treatments for kidney cancer include:
- Surgery is the main treatment for most kidney cancers. Sometimes the tumor is removed with a small amount of the surrounding tissue, or the whole kidney may be removed.
- Systemic therapies such as immunotherapy and targeted therapy can be used to treat kidney cancer. These are drugs given by mouth or injected into the bloodstream. Chemotherapy may be used if other drugs don’t work, but is not as effective.
- Radiation therapy is not as common a treatment because kidney cancers are not very sensitive to radiation. Radiation is used in patients who are not healthy enough for surgery, or as a palliative treatment to ease pain.
Comprehensive Cancer Centers Can Help
Physicians at Comprehensive provide a variety of treatment options for patients with kidney cancer in Nevada and offer groundbreaking clinical research for those who are eligible. To schedule an appointment with the team at Comprehensive, please call 702-952-3350.
The content is this post is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.