Cancer is a deadly condition that can affect any part of the body; whether it is breast cancer, prostate cancer, throat cancer, kidney cancer, etc. all of these are extremely fatal. An uncharted territory for a few, renal cell carcinoma is one of the common types of kidney cancer. The fact that 9 out of 10 kidney cancer cases are of renal cell cancer is proof to the extent of this condition. The condition is not a new phenomenon and follows a pattern similar to other types of cancers. Kidney cancer manifests itself in the form of a single or several tumors. Moreover, they can begin to grow in one tumor or in both.
There are several factors that have a connection to causing renal cell carcinoma. The development can be traced back to family history. If the individual has a family member who has suffered from this form of cancer, there is a high possibility that the individual too may suffer from the condition. Also, for people who undergo dialysis due to kidney malfunction, there may be a high chance of developing renal cell carcinoma. Lifestyle habits such as smoking and being overweight can trigger the kidney condition as well.
Diagnosis and treatment options for renal cell carcinoma
Cancer in any form is life-threatening and one can only survive through it if they diagnose it in the early stage itself. Renal cell carcinoma is no different. The direction of treatment taken largely depends upon how far the cancer has spread or staging from stage 1 to stage 4.
If an individual suspects symptoms of renal cell carcinoma, the diagnosis process will begin with a physical exam and a number of tests like CT scan, urine examination, blood test, kidney ultrasounds, and a biopsy.
The following are the few standard treatment options for renal cell carcinoma-
Radiation is a therapy that uses high-energy X-rays to target and kill the cancer cells in the kidney. The procedure includes radiating high-energy externally or internally through the use of a machine.
There are two types of surgery procedures that may be used. In a nephrectomy, the entire kidney may be surgically removed, whereas in a partial nephrectomy, a small portion of the kidney may be removed. The extensiveness of the surgery will be based on how far the cancer has spread in the kidney and around it. In some cases, the kidney may need complete removal and one will have to undergo a kidney transplant or dialysis.
Used as a common treatment for most types of cancers, chemotherapy involves the use of medications to kill the cancerous cells. The medication passes through the bloodstream before it can attack the cancer cells. Chemotherapy medicines can be administered orally or through the veins and come with a slew of side-effects.
- Targeted therapy
A widely viable cancer treatment option today, targeted therapy is used to attack the cancer cells without affecting the healthy cells. They work by shrinking the cells by shrinking blood flow to the tumor.
Another lesser known treatment option for renal cell carcinoma includes clinical trials. These trials enable patients to test new treatments and seek if there are effective results. The physician will be able to guide one and understand if clinical trial is a treatment option.