Receiving a diagnosis of any kind of cancer, whether benign or malignant, is always scary and something no one wants to hear. Some cancers are more severe than others and having a family history increases your risk of developing this potentially deadly disease sometime in your life. Urological cancers affecting the bladder, kidneys, prostate, and testicles are fairly common, some of which affect both men and women. The main types of urological cancers include prostate cancer, bladder cancer, testicular cancer, and kidney cancer.
Kidney cancer has been named among the ten most common types of cancer affecting both men and women, but twice as often in men than women.
The Kidneys are a valuable tool
Within our urinary tract, there are two kidneys, one to the left and right of the backbone. Each kidney is attached to a ureter (urine tube) that connects the kidney to the bladder, and the urethra which allows us to urinate. The kidneys are responsible for performing many jobs, but the main one is removing waste from the blood to be expelled in urine, keeping a stable balance of salts and other substances in the body, and producing hormones that help build strong bones and form red blood cells.
Knowing when things aren’t right
Blood in the urine, lower back pain on one side not from an injury, a mass on the side or lower back, tiredness, weight loss, chronic fevers, and swelling of the ankles or legs are all signs and symptoms that you may have kidney cancer. There are several types of kidney cancer, but the most common type affecting adults is called renal cell carcinoma.
According to the American Cancer Society, about 63,340 new cases of kidney cancer (42,680 in men and 22,660 in women) will occur in 2018. Out of that amount, an estimated 14,970 people (10,010 men and 4,960 women) will die from this disease. Any cancer can be fatal, but it largely depends on the stage, when it was diagnosed, and how quickly and effectively treatment is administered. The prediction of an individual’s survival rate with kidney cancer depends on the case, age, overall health if the cancer has spread, and how well treatment responds.
Beating & Surviving Kidney Cancer
Surgery is the main treatment for most kidney cancers. The chances of surviving kidney cancer without having surgery are small. Even people whose cancer has spread to other organs may benefit from surgery to take out the kidney tumor. Removing the kidney containing cancer can help some people live longer, so the doctor may suggest surgery even if the cancer has spread beyond the kidney.
Most forms of cancer are usually an aggressive disease that spreads quickly. However, kidney cancer is a little different, in the aspect that it often does not show symptoms right away or even at all. There are indicators that people can watch out for, though. Making a doctor appointment when things are out of the ordinary – unusual loss of weight, loss of appetite, ankle swelling, blood in urine, or unusual pain or lump inside or back – should seem obvious, but it can make all the difference. Early detection is the biggest factor in saving your life when it comes to a kidney cancer diagnosis. Getting diagnosed early and receiving treatment can stop the progression of the disease.
Save your life today with early detection. To learn more about kidney cancer, and how it can be treated call the office of Urologic Surgeons of Arizona at (480) 409-5060 to schedule an appointment or request an appointment online.