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How To Diagnose Renal Cell Carcinoma

After Renal Cell Cancer Has Been Diagnosed Tests Are Done To Find Out If Cancer Cells Have Spread Within The Kidney Or To Other Parts Of The Body

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The process used to find out if cancer has spread within the kidney or to otherparts of the body is called staging. The information gathered from thestaging process determines the stage of the disease. It is important to knowthe stage in order to plan treatment. The following tests andprocedures may be used in the staging process:

  • CT scan : A procedure that makes a series of detailed pictures of areas inside the body, such as the chest or brain, 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 : A procedure that uses a magnet, radio waves, and a computer to make a series of detailed pictures of areas inside the body, such as the brain. This procedure is also called nuclear magnetic resonance imaging .
  • Chest x-ray: An x-ray of the organs and bones inside the chest. An x-ray is a type of energy beam that can go through the body and onto film, making a picture of areas inside the body.
  • Bone scan: A procedure to check if there are rapidly dividing cells, such as cancer cells, in the bone. A very small amount of radioactive material is injected into a vein and travels through the bloodstream. The radioactive material collects in the bones with cancer and is detected by a scanner.

How To Treat Renal Cell Carcinoma

Renal cell carcinoma can produce numerous symptoms including blood in urine, abdominal and back pain, swelling, weight loss, problems with vision and pale skin. If the condition is left untreated, then it may get far worse and significantly lower your survival rate.

since we have known the renal cell carcinoma staging, now let’s see its how to treat this condition. The treatment offered by your doctor depends on the stage of the illness, your health condition, and possible side effects of specific treatment. Some treatment methods commonly used are detailed below:

  • A surgical procedure may be carried out to remove all or part of the kidney.
  • Biological drugs boost your own immune system to defense and fight cancer cells.
  • Targeted therapy attacks the resources within the body that the cancer cells need to survive, such as a tumor’s blood vessels or specific proteins.
  • Ablation uses extreme cold or radio waves to eradicate tumors.
  • Many types of cancer are often treated with chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or sometimes a combination of them both. Although these treatments are usually ineffective in treating renal cell carcinoma, they may be used to treat renal cell carcinoma if other treatments have failed to work.

Remember to always speak with your doctor if you have any concerns, if you feel any pain, or if you feel uncomfortable with any of the treatment methods. This will help you to make the best treatment plan for you.

There Are Three Ways That Cancer Spreads In The Body

Cancer can spread through tissue, the lymph system, and the blood:

  • Tissue. The cancer spreads from where it began by growing into nearby areas.
  • Lymph system. The cancer spreads from where it began by getting into the lymph system. The cancer travels through the lymph vessels to other parts of the body.
  • Blood. The cancer spreads from where it began by getting into the blood. The cancer travels through the blood vessels to other parts of the body.

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Prognostic Systems For Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma

Two similar prognostic systems are commonly used to calculate risk in patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma . The Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center /Motzer score includes the following criteria :

  • Time from diagnosis to systemic treatment less than 1 year
  • Hemoglobin concentration below the lower limit of normal
  • Serum calcium concentration > 10 mg/dL
  • Lactate dehydrogenase level more than 1.5 times the upper limit of normal
  • Performance status less than 80%

The International Metastatic RCC Database Consortium risk model, validated and further developed by Heng et al, includes the following prognostic criteria :

  • Time from diagnosis to systemic treatment less than 1 year
  • Karnofsky performance status less than 80%
  • Hemoglobin concentration below LLN
  • Serum calcium above ULN
  • Platelet count above the ULN
  • Neutrophil count above the ULN

Both systems categorize patients into the following 3 risk groups:

  • Favorable risk – Median survival 20 months 2-year overall survival 75%
  • Intermediate risk – Median survival 10 months 2y OS 53%
  • Poor/high risk group – Median survival 4 months 2y OS 7%

Review of an external validation cohort of 4657 patients treated for kidney cancer in clinical trials from 2003 to 2013 also demonstrated longer overall survival in obese patients, with median overall survivals of 23.4 months versus 14.5 months for those with low BMI.

Treatments For Renal Cell Carcinoma

Kidney Cancer Causes Risk Factors

There are five kinds of standard treatments for RCC. One or more may be used to treat your cancer.

  • Surgery can include different types of procedures. During a partial nephrectomy, part of the kidney is removed. During a nephrectomy, the entire kidney may be removed. Depending on how far the disease has spread, more extensive surgery may be needed to remove surrounding tissue, lymph nodes, and your adrenal gland. This is a radical nephrectomy. If both kidneys are removed, dialysis or a transplant is necessary.
  • Radiation therapy involves using high-energy X-rays to kill cancer cells. The radiation can be given externally by a machine or placed internally using seeds or wires.
  • Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill cancer cells. It can be given orally or intravenously, depending on what medication is chosen. This allows the drugs to go through the bloodstream and reach cancer cells that may have spread to other parts of the body.
  • Biologic therapy, also called immunotherapy, works with your immune system to attack the cancer. Enzymes or substances made by the body are used to defend your body against the cancer.
  • Targeted therapy is a newer kind of cancer therapy. Drugs are used to attack certain cancer cells without damaging healthy cells. Some drugs work on blood vessels to prevent blood flow to the tumor, starving and shrinking it.
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    What Other Additional Laboratory Studies May Be Ordered

    In patients with advanced or metastatic RCC, routine hematologic and biochemical studies are recommended. Hemoglobin levels, calcium and serum albumin, and serum LDH should be obtained to allow MSKCC classification of the untreated newly diagnosed RCC patient. There are no biomarkers or other specialized laboratory studies that are helpful during the initial evaluation. In the future, SNP analyses and tumor genetic studies may be helpful in this regard.

    No sponsor or advertiser has participated in, approved or paid for the content provided by Decision Support in Medicine LLC. The Licensed Content is the property of and copyrighted by DSM.

    Mind & Body Therapies

    These combine mental focus, breathing, and body movements to help relax the body and mind. Some examples are:

    • Meditation: Focused breathing or repetition of words or phrases to quiet the mind
    • Biofeedback: Using simple machines, the patient learns how to affect certain body functions that are normally out of one’s awareness
    • Hypnosis: A state of relaxed and focused attention in which a person concentrates on a certain feeling, idea, or suggestion to aid in healing
    • Yoga: Systems of stretches and poses, with special attention given to breathing
    • Tai Chi: Involves slow, gentle movements with a focus on the breath and concentration
    • Imagery: Imagining scenes, pictures, or experiences to help the body heal
    • Creative outlets: Interests such as art, music, or dance

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    Adjuvant And Neoadjuvant Therapy

    Adjuvant therapy, which refers to therapy given after a primary surgery, has not been found to be beneficial in renal cell cancer. Conversely, neoadjuvant therapy is administered before the intended primary or main treatment. In some cases neoadjuvant therapy has been shown to decrease the size and stage of the RCC to then allow it to be surgically removed. This is a new form of treatment and the effectiveness of this approach is still being assessed in clinical trials.

    Symptoms Of Kidney Cancer

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    In many cases, there are no obvious symptoms at first and kidney cancer may only be found during tests for another condition or reason.

    If there are symptoms, they can include:

    • blood in your pee you may notice your pee is darker than usual or reddish in colour
    • a persistent pain in your lower back or side, just below your ribs
    • a lump or swelling in your side

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    How Is Harmonic Scanning Used To Diagnose Renal Cell Carcinoma

    Use of harmonic scanning has been reported to increase sensitivity to up to 85% 8. Contrast-enhanced ultrasound 16 may typically show a lesion heterogeneously hypervascular in the arterial phase with early washout in the delayed phase. CT is frequently used to both diagnose and stage renal cell carcinomas.

    What Can I Do

    First, work with your doctor to figure out how to best treat it. Even if it canât be cured, you may be able to slow it down and manage your symptoms with surgery, medicine, and other treatments.

    You can also do a lot on your own to feel better physically and emotionally:

    Pace yourself. Cancer, and even some of its treatments, can wipe you out. Try to keep your days simple and save your energy for the important activities. And donât be shy about resting when you need to.

    Speak your symptoms. Your doctor can help with all kinds of common problems from cancer and its treatments, like constipation, upset stomach, and pain. But only if you say something about them. Check in with your doctor often to get the care you need.

    Stay active. Exercise lifts your energy and helps you fight off anxiety, depression, and stress. Ask your doctor whatâs safe for you to do.

    Tend to your body. Along with regular exercise, try to stick to a healthy diet and get the rest you need. If you donât feel like eating much, a dietitian might be able to help.

    Find ways to relax. Itâll keep your mood and energy up. Take time to read a book, go for a walk, call a friend, get a massage, or try some meditation. Or all of the above. Go with works best for you.

    Work with your doctor, and try to stay positive. There are more ways to treat the condition than ever before. Your doctor can help you think about which ones are best for you.

    Mayo Clinic: âKidney Cancer.â

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    Renal Cell Carcinoma Treatment: Whats New And What’s Next

    Renal cell carcinoma is the most common type of kidney cancer. Most treatments are focused on clear cell carcinoma, which is the most common subtype of this disease.

    Often, patients who are diagnosed with renal cell carcinoma when it is in its earliest stages can be successfully treated. But what are the treatment options for early-stage disease as well as renal cell carcinoma that has spread to other parts of the body? How do you know which treatment is right for you?

    Heres what to know about current treatment options and new approaches being explored through clinical trials.

    Active surveillance for renal cell carcinoma

    If renal cell carcinoma is growing slowly, active surveillance may be an option, says Pavlos Msaouel, M.D., Ph.D. Patients under active surveillance will have checkups every few months and undergo imaging exams to see if the tumor is growing or spreading.

    Some patients may be hesitant to choose this option, in fear of cancer spreading unchecked. But Msaouel says regular checkups generally make active surveillance a safe option.

    Surgery, targeted therapy and immunotherapy could be options if the cancer advances, depending on your specific diagnosis.

    Surgery is an option when renal cell carcinoma hasnt spread

    Surgery to remove the affected kidney offers the highest chance for successful treatment when cancer hasnt spread.

    Your kidneys filter blood and waste in our bodies and help produce urine. Since we have two kidneys, its possible to live with one.

    Cancer May Spread From Where It Began To Other Parts Of The Body


    When cancer spreads to another part of the body, it is called metastasis. Cancer cells break away from where they began and travel through the lymph system or blood.

    • Lymph system. The cancer gets into the lymph system, travels through the lymph vessels, and forms a tumor in another part of the body.
    • Blood. The cancer gets into the blood, travels through the blood vessels, and forms a tumor in another part of the body.

    The metastatic tumor is the same type of cancer as the primary tumor. For example, if renal cell cancer spreads to the bone, the cancer cells in the bone are actually cancerous renal cells. The disease is metastatic renal cell cancer, not bone cancer.

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    How To Diagnose Renal Cell Carcinoma

    If you are suspected of having renal cell carcinoma once you have spoken with your doctor about your symptoms and medical history, then a number of tests can be carried out to determine whether you have the illness or not. These tests may include blood test, urine test, test on liver functionality, ultrasound examination, CT scan and nephrectomy.

    If it is determined by your doctor that you do have renal cell carcinoma, they will try to determine what stage you are currently at, which will help to determine the best treatment options. In order to get a clear idea of the severity of the illness, your health care professional may use a chest X-ray, CT scan, MRI or bone scan.

    What Is A Renal Mass And What Is A Localized Renal Tumor

    The word renal means kidney. The words “tumor” and “mass” mean abnormal growths in the body. A renal mass, or tumor, is an abnormal growth in the kidney. Some renal masses are benign and some are malignant .

    One in four renal masses are benign. Smaller masses are more likely to be benign. Larger masses are more likely to be cancerous. Some tumors can be slow to grow while some can be aggressive. Aggressive tumors form, grow and spread very quickly.

    Most diagnosed kidney growths are small and localized masses. Localized means that the tumor has not spread out from where it first started. Around 40% of kidney cancers are localized renal masses. Masses may be solid or cystic . Most cystic masses are benign.

    What do we Know about Kidney Cancers?

    Kidney and renal pelvis cancers are the 11th leading cause of cancer death in the U.S. Kidney cancer is 8th on the list of the 10 most common types of cancer. Almost all of the kidney cancers in the U.S. are renal cell carcinomas . These cancers form in the lining of the small tubes in the kidney.

    Doctors are able to diagnose kidney cancer earlier because of better testing. Kidney cancer is more common in men than women. More men than women die from the disease. Kidney cancer is more common in African Americans, American Indians and Alaskan Native people. You can get kidney cancer at any age. But, it is more common in older people .

    Types of Renal Tumors

    Where are the Kidneys and What are they for?

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    What Is The Prognosis For People With Ccrcc

    The estimate of how a disease will affect you long-term is called prognosis. Every person is different and prognosis will depend on many factors, such as

    • Where the tumor is in your body
    • If the cancer has spread to other parts of your body
    • How much of the tumor was taken out during surgery

    If you want information on your prognosis, it is important to talk to your doctor. NCI also has resources to help you understand cancer prognosis.

    Doctors estimate ccRCC survival rates by how groups of people with ccRCC have done in the past. Because there are so few pediatric ccRCC patients, these rates may not be very accurate. They also dont take into account newer treatments being developed.

    With this in mind, ccRCC patients with smaller tumors have a better chance of survival than patients with larger tumors. The 5-year survival rate for patients with ccRCC is 50-69%. When ccRCC is already large or has spread to other parts of the body, treatment is more difficult and the 5-year survival rate is about 10%.

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    Understanding The Spread: Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma

    The Diagnosis of a Patient with Stage 4 Renal Cell Cancer

    Metastatic renal cell carcinoma

    Renal cell carcinoma, also called kidney cancer, occurs when cancer cells form in the tubules of the kidney. Tubules are tiny tubes in your kidney that help filter waste products from your blood in order to make urine.

    Smoking, hypertension, obesity, and hepatitis C all increase the risk of renal cell carcinoma. Renal cell carcinoma becomes metastatic renal cell carcinoma when it spreads beyond your kidney to your lymph system, bones, or other organs.

    Renal cell carcinoma can spread from a mass of cancer cells or tumor to other parts of your body. This process is called metastasis. It occurs in one of three ways:

    • Cancer cells spread into the tissue around the tumor in your kidney.
    • The cancer moves from your kidney into your lymph system, which has vessels throughout the body.
    • Kidney cancer cells enter the bloodstream and are carried and deposited to another organ or location in your body.

    When renal cell carcinoma is in its early stages, its unlikely that youll experience obvious symptoms. Noticeable symptoms are often a sign that the disease has metastasized.

    Symptoms typically include:

    A physical exam and a review of your medical history may prompt further testing to determine the health of your kidneys.

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