Kidney cancer, also called renal cancer, is the eighth most common cancer diagnosed in the United States. According to the American Cancer Society, 73,750 Americans will be diagnosed with kidney cancer in 2020. More than 4 percent of all new cancers diagnosed are kidney cancers, according to the National Cancer Institute (NCI).Why is kidney cancer also called renal cancer?
The kidneys are a pair of bean-shaped organs located on either side of the spine, protected by the lower ribcage. Although the body has two kidneys, only part of one kidney is necessary to function. The main job of the kidneys is to filter blood and remove excess water, salt and other substances from the body. Most of these fluids run though tubes called renal tubules, which filter fluids in the kidney before the waste (urine) is discharged into the bladder. Most kidney tumors form when the cells that line these tubules, renal cells, mutate and grow out of control. Renal cell carcinoma is the most common type of kidney cancer.
Risk factors for kidney cancer include:
Learn more about risk factors for kidney cancerWho gets kidney cancer?
As with most cancers, the risk for developing kidney cancer increases with age. According to the National Cancer Institute:
Get kidney cancer survival statistics and treatment resultsKidney cancer types
More than 90 percent of all kidney tumors are renal cell carcinomas. Subtypes of renal cell carcinomas include:
Other types of kidney cancer include:
Metastatic renal cancer occurs when the cancer has spread from the kidney into lymph nodes or distant organs, such as the liver, lungs or bladder.
Learn more about kidney cancer typesKidney cancer symptoms
In its early stages, renal cancer may not develop any symptoms. In many cases, early-stage kidney cancer is discovered during an X-ray or other imaging procedure to diagnose another condition.
Warning signs of kidney cancer may include:
Learn more about kidney cancer symptomsKidney cancer diagnostics
A variety of tests and procedures may be used to diagnose kidney cancer. They include:
Learn more about diagnostic procedures for kidney cancerTreating kidney cancer
Surgery is the first-line treatment option for most patients with renal cell carcinoma. Other treatment options include:
Learn more about treatment options for kidney cancer
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