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Kidney cancer

Kidney cancer is one of the top ten most common cancers found in both women and men according to the American Cancer Society.

Common causes and risk factors

  • Smoking
  • Being obese
  • High blood pressure
  • Exposure to chemicals such as asbestos, cadmium and some herbicides

Symptoms

These symptoms may also be caused by other, less serious conditions, so it is important to talk to your doctor if you experience any of them:

  • Experiencing non-injury related pain on one side of your lower back
  • Blood in urine
  • A lump or mass on your lower back or side
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Persistent fever

Diagnosis

One or more of the following tests may be conducted if kidney cancer is suspected:

  • Urinalysis
  • Blood tests
  • Image tests

Treatment

When considering treatment options, one of the most important factors to consider is the stage of the cancer. Surgery is the main treatment option for kidney cancer, but be sure to discuss all options with your cancer care team.

Treatment options include the following:

  • Surgery to remove either the entire kidney or the cancer and surrounding kidney tissue
  • Ablation to destroy kidney tumors if surgery is not an option due to health risks

Prevention

The cause of kidney cancer is often unknown in many cases, and in other cases prevention may not have been possible even if the cause was known. However, you may be able to reduce your risk of kidney cancer by:

  • Stopping tobacco use
  • Controlling high blood pressure and obesity
  • A healthy diet and regular exercise
  • Avoiding exposure to certain toxic chemicals, includingcadmium, asbestos and organic solvents.