KIDNEY CANCER:
Kidney cancer is a certain type of cancer that begins in the kidneys. Renal Cell Carcinoma is the most common type of kidney cancer. When developing Kidney Cancer, tumors grow in the kidneys, causing various different types and variations of Kidney Cancer. This cancer affects the bean shaped organs in the body, better known as the kidneys.


NORMAL FUNCTIONS OF THE KIDNEY:
The normal function of the kidneys is to filter the blood in the body, and remove excess salt, water, and waste by making urine. They also make sure the body has enough red blood cells by making a hormone called erythropoieten. This hormone signals bone marrow to make more red blood cells if the need be.



RISK FACTORS:
Some risk factors for kidney cancer include smoking, which increases the risk of one developing RCC. Another risk factor is obesity because obese individuals have a higher risk of developing this type of cancer. Exposure to things like asbestos, cadmium and some herbicides also serve as risk factors for kidney cancer as well as high blood pressure and certain medicines. Hereditary presence of diseases like BHD(Birt-Hogg-Dube) syndrome and Hereditary renal oncocytoma also come as risk factors.


SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS:
The most common signs or symptoms of kidney cancer include blood in the urine, continuous side pain, lump or mass in the abdomen, weight loss, fever, and feeling of fatigue or general unhealthiness.

CAUES OF KIDNEY CANCER:
It is not certain what exactly causes this type of cancer, but inherited or acquired genes are a probable cause for the disease. Inherited genes like the VHL, FH, and FLCN are tumor suppressant genes that if mutated could lead to cancer.


STAGING AND SURVIVAL RATES:
Kidney cancer can be detected by a physical exam, imagining test such a CT or MRI scan, an ultrasound, urinealysis, or other blood test. This cancer is usually diagnosed after a biopsy followed by other tests to see if the cancer has spread. There are four stages:
1. Tumor 7cm. or smaller only in kidney
2. Tumor larger than 7cm. only in kidney
3. Tumor in kidney and one lymph node, or tumor in adrenal gland, or tumor in main blood vessel and lymph node.
4. Cancer has spread beyond fatty layer of kidney, or spread to two or more lymph nodes, or spread to other organs. Based on these stages, the survival rates are as follows:
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TREATMENT OPTIONS AND SIDE EFFECTS:
The three main treatments for kidney cancer are Radical nephrectomy, simple nephrectomy, or partial nephrectomy. These involve removing the kidney, or parts of the kidney. Other options include Cryotherapy, Radiofrequency ablation, chemotherapy, or arterial embolization. Side effects for these different treatments include:
Nephrectomy: body may need more than one kidney, may not adapt well to new kidney if needed, possible wound infection, - Pneumothrox, or hernia
Cryotherapy: bleeding or damage to nearby organs
RFA: side effects are uncommon, but possible complications include bleeding or damage to nearby organs
Embolization: possible surgery complications
Radiation Therapy: mild skin changes, nausea, diarrhea, tiredness, headaches, trouble thinking
Chemotherapy: hair loss, mouth sores, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, increased chance of infections, easy bruising or bleeding, and fatigue
Targeted Therapies: increase in blood pressure, redness, pain, swelling, fluid buildup, loss of appetite
Immunotherapy: extreme fatigue, low blood pressure, fluid buildup, kidney damage, heart attack, high fever and chills, mental changes, and rapid heart beat


ADDITIONAL KIDNEY CANCER FACTS:
There are different doctors available to treat kidney cancer depending on the method, but a Nephrologist or Urologist would be the specialized types of cancer doctors. Some famous people who have struggled with kidney cancer include Joni Richards, Barbara Gallagher, Lee Remick, Frank Burrows, and Jim Duggan.

STATISTICS:
Kidney cancer is the 7th most common cancer.
It is the 10th most common cause of cancer related deaths in men and the 8th in women.
In 2010, there were 58,240 new cases of kidney cancer and 13,040 deaths.
Around 3 in 4 people with non-inherited clear cell renal cancer had a mutation in the VHL gene that caused a malfunction. Around 13,000 people, more men than women, will die from kidney disease this year. The lifetime risk of developing this disease is about 1 in 70. This cancer's incidence is in people aged 55 and older.


PROGRESSION OF KIDNEY CANCER IN STAGES:
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VIDEO CLIPS:
__VIDEO-KEEPING YOUR KIDNEY AFTER CANCER__
KIDNEY CANCER VIDEO CLIP-CRYRO




Sources:

"Cancer of the Kidney and Renal Pelvis - SEER Stat Fact Sheets."
SEER Web Site. Web. 24 Feb. 2011. <http://seer.cancer.gov/statfacts/html/kidrp.html>.

"Kidney Cancer."
American Cancer Society :: Information and Resources for Cancer: Breast, Colon, Prostate, Lung and Other Forms. Web. 23 Feb. 2011. <http://www.cancer.org/cancer/kidneycancer/index>.

"Kidney Cancer Home Page - National Cancer Institute."
Comprehensive Cancer Information - National Cancer Institute. Web. 24 Feb. 2011. <http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/types/kidney>.

"Kidney Cancer Symptoms, Causes, Treatment - What Are Kidney Cancer Symptoms and Signs on MedicineNet." Web. 23 Feb. 2011. <http://www.medicinenet.com/kidney_cancer/page3.htm>.
"Kidney Cancer Treatment." Welcome to NEI Urology. Web. 25 Mar. 2011. <http://www.neiurology.com/kc_treatment.htm>.

Member, Caring.com Community. "What Celebrities Have Kidney Cancer? | Caring.com."
Caring.com – Simplifying Caregiving, Supporting Caregivers. Web. 24 Feb. 2011. <http://www.caring.com/questions/celebrities-with-kidney-cancer>.