Kidney Cancer - Signs, Symptoms, Stages And Treatments For Kidney Cancer. The Prognosis Of The Disease, How Long Do They Live?

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Video: Kidney Cancer - Signs, Symptoms, Stages And Treatments For Kidney Cancer. The Prognosis Of The Disease, How Long Do They Live?

Video: Kidney Cancer - Signs, Symptoms, Stages And Treatments For Kidney Cancer. The Prognosis Of The Disease, How Long Do They Live?
Video: The Kidney and Kidney Cancers | UCLA Urology 2023, March
Kidney Cancer - Signs, Symptoms, Stages And Treatments For Kidney Cancer. The Prognosis Of The Disease, How Long Do They Live?
Kidney Cancer - Signs, Symptoms, Stages And Treatments For Kidney Cancer. The Prognosis Of The Disease, How Long Do They Live?

Signs, symptoms, stages and treatment of kidney cancer

What is kidney cancer?

Kidney cancer is a disease in which a malignant neoplasm grows. The tumor can develop on one or both kidneys of the patient. In most cases, patients who have been diagnosed with kidney cancer have metastases in various organs. Most often, this ailment occurs in the male half of the population, women are slightly less likely to face this problem.


  • How long do you live with kidney cancer? World statistics data
  • Kidney cancer symptoms
  • Kidney Cancer Causes
  • Stages and degrees of kidney cancer
  • Renal cancer metastases
  • Kidney cancer diagnosis
  • Kidney cancer treatment
  • Treatment of kidney cancer with folk remedies
  • Diet prescribed for kidney cancer

How long do you live with kidney cancer? World statistics data

Kidney cancer
Kidney cancer

For many decades, doctors and scientists from different countries of the world have been painstakingly working on improving medical techniques that will make it possible to more successfully treat cancer. According to statistics published in the media, more than 40,000 cases of kidney cancer are diagnosed worldwide every year. To date, the death rate from kidney cancer remains quite high. About 12,000 deaths are recorded annually in different countries of the world.

The danger of this oncological disease is that in the early stages it can be asymptomatic, and therefore, patients seek medical help too late. Even a brilliantly performed surgery to remove a malignant neoplasm or kidney cannot guarantee the patient a long life. This is due to the fact that several years after surgery, the patient may develop metastases. The process of metastasis of the body almost always deprives the patient of a chance for recovery.

According to world statistics, patients with kidney cancer have the following life expectancy:

  • in stage 1 kidney cancer - 81% survival rate
  • with stage 2 kidney cancer - 74% survival;
  • with stage 3 kidney cancer - 53% survival;
  • in stage 4 kidney cancer, the survival rate is only 8%.

Currently, in the fight against kidney cancer, doctors are using the latest techniques, thanks to which the life expectancy of patients has increased to 71.5%:

  • after cancer detection, 53% of patients survive to 5 years;
  • after the detection of cancer, 43% of patients survive to 10 years.

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Kidney cancer symptoms

Kidney cancer symptoms
Kidney cancer symptoms

In most patients diagnosed with kidney cancer, this disease is accompanied by the following symptoms:

  • strong pain in the lumbar region;
  • when defecating, the patient discovers an admixture of blood in the urine;
  • the appearance of renal colic;
  • chronic fatigue;
  • general weakness and lethargy;
  • sharp weight loss;
  • pain when urinating;
  • loss of appetite;
  • excessive sweating;
  • arterial hypertension;
  • swelling of the lower extremities;
  • temperature increase;
  • deep vein thrombosis;
  • liver dysfunction;
  • an increase in the size of the affected kidney (the tumor becomes palpable on palpation), etc.

With metastasis of internal organs in patients with kidney cancer, certain symptoms are observed:

  • brain metastases - severe headaches, development of neuralgia;
  • lung metastases - severe cough; coughing up blood;
  • liver metastases - jaundice, pain in the right hypochondrium, bitterness in the mouth;
  • bone metastases - fractures, pain when moving limbs, etc.

Malignant neoplasms of small sizes often develop asymptomatically, and therefore, the patient is diagnosed with cancer already at the stage at which other organs are affected by metastases.

Kidney Cancer Causes

The reasons for the appearance of malignant neoplasms in the kidneys include the following:

  • bad habits. Smoking brings great harm to the human body, since nicotine contains carcinogens that have a detrimental effect on the renal tissue. According to available statistics, among people who are diagnosed with kidney cancer, the majority of patients had this addiction;
  • excess weight. Even at an early stage of obesity, people can develop malignant neoplasms in the kidneys. Eating fatty and junk food significantly increases the risk of cancer;

  • injuries and falls. Any mechanical effect on the kidneys can provoke the appearance of a malignant neoplasm;
  • medicines. Continuous use of medications, in the treatment of various diseases, increases the risk of a tumor;
  • genetic predisposition. In some cases, poor heredity is the cause of kidney cancer;
  • contact with chemistry and radiation;
  • serious chronic diseases, etc.

See also: Other Cancer Causes and Risk Factors

Stages and degrees of kidney cancer

Stages and degrees of kidney cancer
Stages and degrees of kidney cancer

Modern medicine has determined the stages of development of kidney cancer. Thanks to the existing classification, specialists are able to determine with high accuracy:

  • course of the disease;
  • the structure of the malignant neoplasm;
  • the degree of its development, etc.

Most of the narrowly specialized specialists involved in the treatment of kidney cancer use the international classification of this disease called TNM in the diagnosis, where:

M - allows you to identify the presence of metastases (even distant ones) in the patient's body;

N - assesses the condition of the patient's lymph nodes;

T - allows the specialist to assess the primary focus of malignant neoplasm.

In addition to the international classification, the Robson classification, which distinguishes 4 stages of this disease, helps to assess the state of a cancer.

Stage 1 kidney cancer

The first stage of the development of a malignant neoplasm very often passes unnoticed by the patient. A cancerous tumor in most cases does not exceed 2.5 cm in diameter. It is located within its capsule and does not extend beyond the edges of the kidney, which makes it difficult to detect on palpation. If patients are diagnosed with this disease at the first stage, then in 90% of cases they will be guaranteed recovery and a quick return to the usual rhythm of life.

Stage 2 kidney cancer

In the second stage, the size of the cancerous tumor begins to increase. Malignant neoplasm grows slightly. At this stage of development, the tumor is also difficult to diagnose (hardware and laboratory examination is required). With timely detection of cancer, patients continue to have a favorable prognosis.

Stage 3 kidney cancer

At the third stage of the development of a cancerous neoplasm, the tumor can significantly increase in size. Very often, a malignant neoplasm spreads to the adrenal glands. Cancer cells begin to invade the lymph nodes and can affect the renal or inferior vena cava.

Stage 4 kidney cancer

The fourth stage of development is accompanied by active growth of a malignant neoplasm. Patients develop metastases in various organs: lungs, liver, intestines, etc. This stage of development of a cancerous tumor requires immediate surgical intervention. Patients have significantly reduced chances of successful recovery.

Renal cancer metastases

Renal cancer metastases
Renal cancer metastases

In 40-60% of patients who have been diagnosed with kidney cancer, after a while, metastases are found that affect various organs, depending on the severity of the disease and the location of the malignant neoplasm.

Most often, cancer patients develop metastases in the following organs:

  • In the liver;
  • In the lungs;
  • In the brain;
  • In the adrenal glands;
  • In the lymph nodes;
  • In the spine;
  • In the skeletal system;
  • In the costal-clavicular space, etc.

In modern medicine, the process of metastasis refers to the manifestation of clinical signs of secondary foci of malignant neoplasms. In some cancer patients, metastases are detected 10 years after the onset of a stage 1 cancer. In the case when the lungs affect single metastases, then the patient has a chance that they will regress on their own. Early diagnosis gives patients a high chance of successful treatment and a speedy recovery.

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Kidney cancer diagnosis

At an appointment with a urologist, a patient who has complaints of pain in the kidney area will undergo an initial examination. A narrow-profile specialist will collect a medical history, palpate, and prescribe the necessary tests. In order to confirm their assumptions and make an accurate diagnosis, the patient is assigned hardware diagnostics.

When carrying out diagnostic measures, the purpose of which is to identify a malignant neoplasm in the kidneys, specialists prescribe various examinations for their patients:

  • ultrasonic;
  • laboratory;
  • radioisotope;
  • X-ray, etc.

To confirm the preliminary diagnosis of kidney cancer, the specialist needs to familiarize himself with the results of his patient's laboratory examination.

All patients without exception are recommended to pass the following tests:

  • biochemical and clinical blood test;
  • cytology;
  • urine analysis (general), etc.

In the presence of a malignant neoplasm in the kidneys, which is confirmed by laboratory tests, the doctor may prescribe an additional hardware examination for the patient.

Determination of tumor localization can be performed by:

  • magnetic resonance imaging;
  • computed tomography;
  • radionuclide scanning;
  • radiopaque urography;
  • renal angiography;
  • excretory urography;
  • nephroscintigraphy, etc.

In most cases, patients with kidney cancer are biopsied under the supervision of an ultrasound machine. During this procedure, the doctor makes a closed puncture to the patient, which is necessary for the collection of biological material from the malignant neoplasm. The obtained samples of cancerous tissues are transferred for morphological examination.

Without fail, patients are sent for an X-ray of the bronchopulmonary system and for an ultrasound examination of the gastrointestinal tract. Additional diagnostics allows you to determine the presence of metastases in the patient's body.

Kidney cancer treatment

Kidney cancer treatment
Kidney cancer treatment

When treating a cancerous tumor of the kidney, doctors use various constructive techniques:

  • surgery;
  • hormone therapy;
  • chemotherapy;
  • radiation therapy;
  • immunotherapy, etc.

The most effective method of treating a malignant neoplasm in the kidney is surgery.

Depending on the stage of the disease, its size and location, surgeons can perform:

  • resection - part of the kidney is removed, on which a cancerous tumor is found;
  • nephrectomy - the entire kidney is removed.

Before choosing a method for treating a malignant neoplasm, a specialist must carry out the necessary diagnostic measures:

  • collect a complete medical history;
  • examine the results of analyzes and histology;
  • determine the stage of the disease;
  • take into account the patient's age;
  • identify concomitant diseases, etc.

Usually, surgeons try to preserve the patient's organ as much as possible, using more gentle techniques for this. In recent years, specialists have tried not to carry out abdominal operations, in which an incision of the skin is made. Since the mid-90s, leading clinics have begun to use the latest trends in medicine. Thanks to the advent of the cyberknife, surgeons have the ability to remove and also stop the growth of malignant neoplasms. Patients who have undergone surgery using a cyberknife do not need to undergo debilitating chemotherapy. The principle of operation of this device is to destroy the DNA of tumor cells.

In recent years, specialists have been trying in any way to preserve the patient's organ. They use the latest techniques in treatment:

  • radiofrequency ablation;
  • cryoablation, etc.

The choice of a specific treatment method directly depends on the following parameters of a malignant neoplasm:

  • the size of the tumor;
  • localization;
  • the stage of cancer development;
  • patient's age, etc.

In the case when a malignant tumor of small size (up to 4 cm in diameter) was detected in a patient, the specialists perform a kidney resection. When carrying out a surgical intervention, a biological material is taken from the patient, which is immediately transferred to the laboratory for histological examination.

A more radical method of surgical treatment of kidney cancer is nephrectomy, during which the patient is excised the kidney and nearby tissues: renal fascia, perirenal fatty tissue, regional lymph nodes, etc. If during the operation a tumor is detected that has spread to the upper pole of the kidney, the doctor decides to amputate the adrenal gland.

After surgical treatment, patients undergo postoperative rehabilitation. They are prescribed chemotherapy, radiotherapy, immunotherapy, etc. In some cases (in the presence of a single kidney), patients are referred for hemodialysis, and subsequently organ transplantation is recommended.

If the tumor did not have time to spread beyond the organ, then the patient has every chance to overcome this disease forever. In the case when metastasis occurs in patients before or after treatment, then there are unfavorable prognosis for them. The patient's life expectancy will directly depend on at what stage of cancer he went to a medical institution.

Chemotherapy for kidney cancer

In most cases of kidney cancer, chemotherapy is prescribed to patients. The patient must take special medications according to a certain scheme. When entering the patient's bloodstream, special medications begin to affect the body. Chemotherapy has a positive effect only in conjunction with other therapeutic methods. Its main purpose is to influence not only malignant neoplasms, but also metastases, which can affect any internal organ of the patient.

Doctors are very careful about the choice of medications that will be used for chemotherapy. They try to choose those drugs that can prolong life as much as possible by slowing down the rate of division of cancer cells.

To date, the most effective chemotherapy drugs are:

  • Nexavar - is able to completely stop the formation of new blood vessels of a malignant neoplasm, which provide it with nutrition. This drug is prescribed even to patients who are at stage 4 of the development of kidney cancer;
  • Sutent - is able to block the blood vessels that provide nutrition to the malignant neoplasm. This drug is prescribed in courses, each of which lasts no more than 4 weeks;
  • Inhibitor - has a detrimental effect directly on the malignant neoplasm. Tissue adjacent to the tumor will not be damaged while taking this medicine. Patients tolerate chemotherapy with this medication very well.

Targeted therapy

Targeted therapy
Targeted therapy

Recently, patients diagnosed with kidney cancer have been treated with targeted therapy. This technique allows medication to exert the necessary effect on a cancerous tumor. Targeted drugs provoke the death of tumor cells. Their reception is not accompanied by strong side effects. They practically do not have a negative effect on healthy cells of the affected kidney and nearby organs.

In some clinics, targeted drugs are used in conjunction with traditional methods of treating renal malignant neoplasms. They work great alongside chemotherapy or radiotherapy. Many specialists prescribe targeted medications to their patients in order to prevent recurrence of cancer.

Targeted drugs stop the development of malignant neoplasms at the molecular level. This therapy allows you to prevent the growth of cancerous tissue on a healthy part of the organ. The course of treatment with targeted medications depends on the severity of the disease, as well as on the general condition of the patient's body.

Removal of the kidney for cancer

The first laparoscopy to remove a kidney took place in 1990. Since that time, clinics from around the world have begun to actively introduce this method of performing surgical nephrectomy for kidney cancer. Nowadays, every modern clinic with an operating unit is obligatorily equipped with a laparoscope.

Laparoscopy allows patients to significantly shorten the postoperative period and return to their normal rhythm of life much faster. According to statistics, the recurrence rate after laparoscopic removal of a cancerous tumor is significantly lower than after nephrectomy of a malignant neoplasm during abdominal surgery.

Before conducting laparoscopy, the patient must undergo special training:

  • without fail to pass tests (biochemical and clinical blood tests, general urine analysis, etc.);
  • pass histology;
  • do fluorography;
  • make a cardiogram;
  • take a blood clotting test;
  • undergo a general medical examination and obtain admission to the operation from a therapist.

A week before the surgical intervention, the patient must stop taking medications - anticoagulants. The day before the operation, the patient must cleanse the intestines and stop eating.

This can be done in two ways:

  • by means of an enema;
  • with the help of special drugs that stop the intestines and cause severe diarrhea (in most cases, Fortrans is prescribed).

Immediately before laparoscopy (several hours before), the patient is inserted into the bladder with a catheter, which will be removed the next day after the surgery. Laparoscopy, as well as the usual abdominal surgery, is performed under general intravenous anesthesia (with a breathing tube connected). After the patient is taken to the recovery room, they will be prescribed intravenous injections and droppers. Immediately after surgery, the patient is injected with potent drugs that block any pain sensations. The next few days (after the operation), pain-relieving injections are given at night, after examining the patient by an anesthesiologist, who, from a conversation with the patient, concludes about his condition.

See also: Other treatments

Treatment of kidney cancer with folk remedies

Treatment of kidney cancer with folk remedies
Treatment of kidney cancer with folk remedies

In the treatment of malignant neoplasm of the kidney, patients can use any methods, the main thing is that they are combined with the general concept of therapy chosen by the leading patient's doctor. Many people who have been diagnosed with kidney cancer use traditional methods of treating malignant neoplasms quite successfully:

  • herbal tinctures;
  • balms;
  • herbal decoctions;
  • ointments;
  • compresses, etc.

The most effective herbs in the fight against cancer are:

  • tansy;
  • saber;
  • yarrow;
  • chamomile;
  • plantain;
  • marigold;
  • elderberry leaves;
  • mint;
  • celandine;
  • mistletoe;
  • St. John's wort root;
  • calendula;
  • wormwood, etc.

A properly formulated herbal tea helps the body to normalize the functioning of its internal organs and systems. With the help of tincture, patients can remove accumulated toxins and decay products of malignant cells from an organ affected by a cancerous tumor.

Before starting the use of traditional medicine for kidney cancer, patients should consult their doctor. The specialist will prescribe the right dosage and help you choose the most effective herbs in a particular case.

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In addition to herbs in folk medicine, honey and propolis are actively involved in the treatment, which contains all the vitamins, minerals and other useful substances necessary for the human body. Propolis is a truly unique remedy that can be used to treat even serious diseases.

Diet prescribed for kidney cancer


With any cancer, and especially with kidney cancer, the patient must eat properly. Doctors strongly recommend that patients adhere to a diet.

The following foods should be completely excluded:

  • smoked meats;
  • marinades and pickles;
  • carbonated drinks;
  • coffee and strong tea;
  • confectionery, especially with cream;
  • canned fish and meat;
  • beans, peas, chickpeas and other types of legumes;
  • meat and fish broths;
  • sausages and sausages;
  • lard and fatty meat, etc.

A kidney cancer patient should completely stop drinking alcohol and alcoholic beverages.

The following foods should be present in the daily diet of a patient with a malignant neoplasm:

  • cereals;
  • dairy and fermented milk products;
  • chicken and quail eggs;
  • sprouted cereals;
  • plant food;
  • fruit, etc.

The following foods should be consumed in limited quantities:

  • lean meat (boiled);
  • lean fish (boiled);
  • butter;
  • cream;
  • salt and spices, etc.

The patient's daily diet (consisting of 4-6 meals), in total, should not exceed 3 kg. The volume of fluid you drink must be reduced to 1 liter in order not to put a lot of stress on the kidneys.

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Approximate menu for a kidney cancer patient for a week:


  • Breakfast: rice milk porridge, a decoction made from rose hips.
  • Breakfast (second): vinaigrette, a slice of wholegrain bread, herbal tea.
  • Lunch: vegetarian borscht, a slice of whole grain bread, dried fruit compote.
  • Dinner: low-fat boiled fish, vegetables, a decoction made from rose hips.
  • Dinner (late): a glass of kefir.


  • Breakfast: buckwheat milk porridge, herbal tea.
  • Breakfast (second): curd casserole, broth made from rose hips.
  • Lunch: milk soup with noodles, jelly.
  • Dinner: lean boiled meat, vegetables, herbal tea.
  • Dinner (late): a glass of yogurt.


  • Breakfast: oatmeal milk porridge, broth made from rose hips.
  • Breakfast (second): fruit salad, herbal tea.
  • Lunch: soup made from various vegetables, a slice of bread made from whole grain flour, fruit juice.
  • Dinner: fish (steam) cutlets, buckwheat porridge, broth made from rose hips.
  • Dinner (late): a glass of kefir.


  • Breakfast: semolina milk porridge, herbal tea.
  • Breakfast (second): vegetable stew, a slice of whole grain bread, a decoction made from rose hips.
  • Lunch: vegetarian cabbage soup, a slice of whole grain bread, jelly.
  • Dinner: chicken (steam) cutlets, oatmeal, herbal tea.
  • Dinner (late): a glass of yogurt.


  • Breakfast: oatmeal milk porridge, broth made from rose hips.
  • Breakfast (second): curd casserole, herbal tea.
  • Lunch: milk soup with rice, jelly.
  • Dinner: steamed veal, carrot and cabbage salad, broth made from rose hips.
  • Dinner (late): a glass of kefir.


  • Breakfast: rice milk porridge, herbal tea.
  • Breakfast (second): low-fat cottage cheese + sour cream, a decoction made from rose hips.
  • Lunch: borscht in vegetable broth, a slice of bread made from whole grain flour, dried fruit compote.
  • Dinner: steamed fish, vegetable salad, herbal tea.
  • Dinner (late): a glass of yogurt.


  • Breakfast: buckwheat milk porridge, a decoction made from rose hips.
  • Breakfast (second): grated carrots + sour cream, herbal tea.
  • Lunch: soup made from various vegetables, a slice of bread made from whole grain flour, broth made from rose hips.
  • Dinner: steamed cutlets, oatmeal, herbal tea.
  • Dinner (late): a glass of kefir.

The author of the article: Bykov Evgeny Pavlovich | Oncologist, surgeon

Education: graduated from residency at the Russian Scientific Oncological Center. N. N. Blokhin "and received a diploma in the specialty" Oncologist"

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