March is Kidney Cancer Awareness month. You may be surprised to know that kidney cancer (also known as renal cancer) is in the top 10 most common cancers.
A closer look at kidney cancer numbers. (1)
Smoking, obesity and high-blood pressure are the primary risk factors for kidney cancer. (2) Consequently, exercising, eating healthfully, and managing stress can help you do your part to mitigate these risk factors. And of course, if you’re a smoker, quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do for your overall health.
In the early stages, kidney cancer can occur without symptoms. But in later stages, symptoms can include hematuria, pain in the back or side, fatigue, loss of appetite and/or unexplained weight loss. (3)
As with most cancers, treatment varies based on the stage of the cancer and the health of the patient. Commonly though, kidney cancer treatment involves surgery to remove all or part of the affected organ. (4) There are also a variety of nonsurgical treatments and medications that can be used as part of treatment for kidney cancer. In addition patients can benefit from the fact that new medications are regularly coming on the market to help doctors more effectively treat the disease.
Resources for those with kidney cancer:
If you, or a loved one, have been diagnosed with kidney cancer, you’re not alone. The Kidney Cancer Association has a variety of resources for those diagnosed with kidney cancer, including tools for understanding your diagnosis and tips for living with it.
This month, follow the Kidney Cancer Association on Facebook. All month they’ll be sharing stories of survivors, ways to support the fight against kidney cancer, and more.
And finally, we have doctors at Virginia Urology that specialize in treating urologic cancer, including kidney cancer. So if you need a second opinion, a diagnosis, or are exploring treatment options – make an appointment today.