The human body has two kidneys that filter blood of waste and excrete it out of the body as urine. When abnormal growth of kidney cells occurs it is called a kidney tumour. The tumour may be limited toits origin, or may affect the entire organ and spread to the neighbouring tissues and lymph vessels. Smoking, hypertension, obesity and a family historyof kidney cancer may increase the risk of developing cancerous cells.
Tumours of the kidney may not produce symptoms immediately, but may be detected during the evaluation of anotherproblem or during a regular check-up. The spread of the tumour into the neighbouring organs causes symptoms such as blood in the urine, fever, anaemia and tiredness, high blood calcium and blood pressure. Depending on the organ itspreads to, kidney cancer can cause other related symptoms.
Tumours of the kidney and the extent of spread can be confirmed using blood tests and imaging tests such as ultrasound scan, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and X-rays. Early diagnosis helps doctorsdesign the best treatment. Treatment may include surgery (to remove the tumour), radiotherapy (use of radiation to kill cancer cells), immunotherapy (use of medications to stimulate the immune system to fight cancer cells) or a combination of treatments.