Dr. Lam Discusses Diagnosis and Treatment of Kidney CancerApr 1, 2022
|Kidney cancer, also known as renal cell carcinoma, is one of the ten most common cancers in both men an women. The American Cancer Society predicts that roughly 79,000 new cases of kidney cancer will be diagnosed nationwide in 2022 with an estimated 13,920 people dying from the disease. Dr. Elaine Lam has pointed out that while many cancers are decreasing in incidence, kidney cancer is seeing an increase.
Because there is not a standard screening process for kidney cancer, many kidney cancer cases are found in patients receiving CT scans for different medical reasons. Common risk factors in the development of kidney cancer include smoking, obesity, high blood pressure renal disease, family history, and other inherited conditions.
In the absence of a screening process Dr. Lam has provided us with common symptoms of kidney cancer to be aware of including blood in the urine, persistent lower back pain on one side, a mass or lump in the abdomen, tiredness, and unexplained weight loss.
Early stage kidney cancers that have not metastasized elsewhere are typically treated with surgically with a partial nephrectomy or radical nephrectomy, removal of part of the kidney or the whole kidney. Following surgery, patients may need adjuvant therapy treatments to lower the risk of the cancer coming back. Patients diagnosed with stage IV or metastatic kidney cancer typically receive systemic therapy with immunotherapy based combinations. Immunotherapies are a common treatment option for kidney cancer patients, stimulating the immune system to fight cancer.
There are multiple treatment options that are used to help control the spread of kidney cancer, helping patients live longer and providing them hope as they battle cancer.