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How to Treat Kidney Cancer

Kidney cancer is a condition when there is an abnormal and uncontrolled growth of cells in the kidney. How to treat kidney cancer depends on the size, location, stage of cancer, and the patient's condition. For more details, see the explanation here.

How to Treat Kidney Cancer

Kidney cancer is one of the most common types of cancer. Although kidney cancer can be experienced by anyone, kidney cancer is more common in people who are over 50 years old.

Causes of Kidney Cancer

Kidney cancer can occur because the DNA in kidney cells undergoes changes in its genetic structure and properties. These changes cause kidney cells to grow abnormally and uncontrollably. As a result, the abnormal collection of cells can form a tumor and the tumor can spread throughout the kidneys or other organs of the body.

The cause of changes in the structure and genetic properties of DNA in kidney cells is not known for certain. However, there are several factors that can increase the risk of kidney cancer, including:

  • Suffering from congenital disorders, such as Von Hippel-Lindau syndrome
  • Undergoing long-term treatment for kidney failure, such as dialysis
  • Have a family history of kidney cancer
  • Have hypertension
  • Have excessive weight
  • Aged 50 years and over
  • Smoke
  • Working in an environment that may result in exposure to certain chemicals, such as cadmium
  • Male gender

Types of Kidney Cancer

Kidney cancer based on its characteristics can be divided into several types, namely:

1. Renal cell carcinoma

Renal cell carcinoma is the most common type of kidney cancer in adults. This type of cancer begins in the lining of the kidney tubules, which are a series of tubes that transport body fluids and blood to the kidneys.

2. Wilm's tumor

Wilm's tumor is the most common type of kidney cancer in children. This type of cancer is usually diagnosed before the child is 10 years old.

3. Urothelial carcinoma

Urothelial carcinoma is a type of kidney cancer that begins in the renal pelvis.

4. Sarcoma

Sarcoma is a very rare type of kidney cancer. Sarcomas begin in the connective tissue that surrounds the kidneys.

Symptoms of Kidney Cancer

Generally, the symptoms of kidney cancer are not felt by patients when they are still in an early stage. However, if it has entered an advanced stage, the symptoms of kidney cancer that appear are as follows:

  • Pain around the lower back and waist
  • Lumps or swelling around the lower back and waist
  • Bloody urine (hematuria)
  • Lack of blood (anaemia)
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Pale, weak, and easily tired
  • Fever that doesn't go away
  • Sweat a lot at night

If not treated immediately kidney cancer can cause complications. As for some of the complications that can be caused are hypertension, increased erythrocytes, high levels of calcium in the blood, spreading cancer cells, and disorders of the liver or spleen.

How to Cure Kidney Cancer

How do you treat kidney cancer? Immediately consult a doctor if you experience the symptoms of kidney cancer above, especially if the symptoms and complaints have been occurring continuously. Prompt diagnosis and treatment can reduce the possibility of complications that can endanger your life.

To diagnose kidney cancer, the doctor will ask questions about the symptoms and complaints you feel, when these symptoms appear, and your medical history. Next, the doctor will perform a physical examination to detect any lumps or swelling around the waist and lower back.

In addition, the doctor will also perform a follow-up examination to confirm the diagnosis. The follow-up examinations carried out by the doctor are:

  • Urine test, to detect the presence of infection or blood in the urine
  • Blood tests, to check for signs of impaired kidney function
  • Imaging tests, such as ultrasound, CT scan, or MRI, to examine the kidneys in more detail
  • Biopsy, to detect the presence of cancer by taking a sample of kidney tissue

Treatment of kidney cancer is adjusted to the size, location, stage of cancer, and the patient's condition. To treat kidney cancer, there are several treatment methods that doctors can do, including:

1. Surgery

Surgery is the most common method of treating kidney cancer. Surgery can be done if the cancer is still in an early stage. The purpose of this surgery is to remove the cancer. There are 2 types of kidney cancer surgery, which can be done, namely:

  • Partial nephrectomy, is a surgical procedure by removing certain parts of the kidney affected by cancer
  • Radical nephrectomy, is a surgical procedure by removing all parts of the kidney that contain cancer cells

There are 2 techniques that can be used to carry out kidney cancer surgical procedures. The first is an open surgical technique that requires a large incision in the abdomen or back. The second is the laparoscopic technique which only requires a small incision.

2. Embolization

Embolization is a method of treating kidney cancer which is performed if the cancer has entered an advanced stage and the patient's condition is no longer possible to undergo surgery. The purpose of this method is to block or reduce the blood supply to cancer cells in the kidney by injecting a special substance through a catheter into the renal vein. By blocking the blood supply to cancer cells, the cancer cells in the kidneys will die slowly.

3. Radiotherapy

Radiotherapy is a method of treating kidney cancer using high-energy X-rays to kill cancer cells. External radiotherapy is one type of radiotherapy that is used by directing radiation rays to the kidneys from outside the patient's body.

This method will be used if the cancer has spread to other parts of the body, such as the bones or brain. Radiotherapy cannot completely treat kidney cancer, but it can reduce symptoms and slow the progression of the cancer. However, radiotherapy has some side effects, such as discoloration of the skin in the area exposed to radiation, fatigue, and diarrhea.

4. Targeted therapy

Targeted therapy is the administration of special medicines to treat kidney cancer. Generally, this therapy is used to treat advanced kidney cancer that cannot be treated with other therapies. The medicines given in this therapy are:


Sunitinib works by inhibiting protein kinases. Protein kinase is an enzyme that helps the growth of cancer cells. By inhibiting protein kinases, the development of cancer can be stopped.


Pazopanib works by inhibiting tyrosine kinase. Tyrosine kinase is an enzyme that stimulates cancer cells. By inhibiting tyrosine kinase, the growth of cancer cells can be stopped.


Sorafenib serves to stop the growth of cancer cells by preventing the formation of new blood vessels needed for cancer cell growth.

Temsirolimus and Everolimus

Temsirolimus and Everolimusi work by inhibiting or interfering with the function of the MTOR protein found in cancer cells. That way the number of cancer cells will not increase.

How to Prevent Kidney Cancer

Because the cause of kidney cancer is not known with certainty, so there is no definite way to prevent kidney cancer. However, the best effort that can be done so that the risk of kidney cancer can be reduced is by changing a healthier lifestyle

As for a healthy lifestyle that you can do include:

  • Increase consumption of fruits and vegetables
  • Quit smoking
  • Exercise regularly
  • Maintain ideal body weight
  • Maintain blood pressure
  • Using personal protective equipment when working in a work environment that is prone to exposure to hazardous chemicals

That's an explanation of how to treat kidney cancer, hopefully it can be useful.

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