kidney cancer hub
what is kidney cancer?
Renal cell cancer (also called kidney cancer or renal cell adenocarcinoma) is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells are found in the lining of tubules (very small tubes) in the kidney. There are 2 kidneys, one on each side of the backbone, above the waist. Tiny tubules in the kidneys filter and clean the blood. They take out waste products and make urine. The urine passes from each kidney through a long tube called a ureter into the bladder. The bladder holds the urine until it passes through the urethra and leaves the body.
Renal Medullary Carcinoma and COVID-19: Protecting Patients with Advanced Cancers
Dr. Msaouel urges cancer patients to be cautious to avoid infection with COVID-19, especially due to increased impact complications that may occur. Monitor for these signs and symptoms to get in early communication with your oncology team.
Renal Medullary Carcinoma affects young African and African Americans predominantly. This rare cancer disproportionately afflicts an underrepresented group because it coincides with sickle cell disease.
Signs of renal cell cancer include blood in the urine and a lump in the abdomen.
These and other signs and symptoms may be caused by renal cell cancer or by other conditions. There may be no signs or symptoms in the early stages. Signs and symptoms may appear as the tumor grows. Check with your doctor if you have any of the following:
Blood in the urine.
A lump in the abdomen.
A pain in the side that doesn't go away.
Loss of appetite.
Weight loss for no known reason.
Tests that examine the abdomen and kidneys are used to diagnose renal cell cancer.
The following tests and procedures may be used:
Physical exam and health history: An exam of the body to check general signs of health, including checking for signs of disease, such as lumps or anything else that seems unusual. A history of the patient’s health habits and past illnesses and treatments will also be taken.
Ultrasound exam: A procedure in which high-energy sound waves (ultrasound) are bounced off internal tissues or organs and make echoes. The echoes form a picture of body tissues called a sonogram.
Blood chemistry studies: A procedure in which a blood sample is checked to measure the amounts of certain substances released into the blood by organs and tissues in the body. An unusual (higher or lower than normal) amount of a substance can be a sign of disease.
Urinalysis: A test to check the color of urine and its contents, such as sugar, protein, red blood cells, and white blood cells.
CT scan (CAT scan): A procedure that makes a series of detailed pictures of areas inside the body, such as the abdomen and pelvis, taken from different angles. The pictures are made by a computer linked to an x-ray machine. A dye may be injected into a vein or swallowed to help the organs or tissues show up more clearly. This procedure is also called computed tomography, computerized tomography, or computerized axial tomography.
MRI (magnetic resonance imaging): A procedure that uses a magnet, radio waves, and a computer to make a series of detailed pictures of areas inside the body. This procedure is also called nuclear magnetic resonance imaging (NMRI).
Biopsy: The removal of cells or tissues so they can be viewed under a microscope by a pathologist to check for signs of cancer. To do a biopsy for renal cell cancer, a thin needle is inserted into the tumor and a sample of tissue is withdrawn.
Renal Medullary Carcinoma
RMC is a particularly aggressive, rare form of Kidney Cancer that predominantly affects youth who have the sickle cell trait, or sickle cell disease. More information is available on our dedicated RMC hub. (Link to come soon.)
In stage I, the tumor is 7 centimeters or smaller and is found in the kidney only.
In stage II, the tumor is larger than 7 centimeters and is found in the kidney only.
In stage III, one of the following is found:
the cancer in the kidney is any size and cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes; or
cancer has spread to blood vessels in or near the kidney (renal vein or vena cava), to the fat around the structures in the kidney that collect urine, or to the layer of fatty tissue around the kidney. Cancer may have spread to nearby lymph nodes.
In stage IV, one of the following is found:
cancer has spread beyond the layer of fatty tissue around the kidney and may have spread into the adrenal gland above the kidney with cancer or to nearby lymph nodes; or
cancer has spread to other parts of the body, such as the bones, liver, lungs, brain, adrenal glands, or distant lymph nodes.
More information coming soon.
Drugs Approved for Kidney (Renal Cell) Cancer
This page lists cancer drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for kidney (renal cell) cancer. The list includes generic names and brand names.
Afinitor Disperz (Everolimus)
Lenvima (Lenvatinib Mesylate)
Nexavar (Sorafenib Tosylate)
Sutent (Sunitinib Malate)
Votrient (Pazopanib Hydrochloride)
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