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What is the definition of Kidney Cancer?

What is the kidney?

The kidneys are two bean-shaped organs located on either side of the spinal column, in the lower part of the chest, behind the abdominal organs (stomach, pancreas, liver ...).

The kidneys purify the body of its waste through urine production. They filter the blood through a series of tubes called the renal tubules. Blood "cleaned" goes back into the general circulation, filtered substances (toxic to the body) are eliminated in the urine.

The kidneys also play a role in controlling blood pressure and they participate in the production of red blood cells.

Are there different types of kidney cancer?

The most common cancer of the kidney (90% of cases) adenocarcinoma. The disease is rare before 40 years half of the cases are diagnosed in people aged 50 to 70 years.

Kidney cancer in figures
More than 7900 new cases of kidney cancer are diagnosed each year. This cancer accounts for 2.5% of all cancers. In 68% of cases, it affects men. By its frequency, it is the seventh most common cancer in men and the 12th most common cancer in women. It kills nearly 3,700 people a year.

Risks and origins of kidney cancer

Smoking is a risk factor for kidney cancer: This disease affects twice as many smokers and non-smokers.

Patients with kidney disease requiring regular dialysis are also at increased risk of developing kidney cancer.

Finally, the risk of developing kidney cancer is very high in patients with the Von Hippel-Lindau. It is a genetic disease characterized by an abnormal vessel formation.

Signs and symptoms of kidney cancer

Symptoms of kidney cancer that unfortunately do not appear when the disease is already advanced. These symptoms are blood in the urine and back pain. More rarely, it may be less specific signs, such as hypertension, fever, night sweats, malaise.

Treatment of kidney cancer

Kidney cancers are often very sensitive to chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Surgery is the main treatment. Interventions typically involve removing the entire affected kidney. However, when the tumor is less than three centimeters and the second kidney is functioning normally, surgery may be partial: the surgeon will remove the part of the kidney bearing the tumor.

The administration of molecules that stimulate the immune system to attack the tumor itself (immunotherapy based on the administration of interferons and interleukins) may be offered to some patients with metastatic cancer. However, this approach is less often used since the advent of anti-angiogenic treatments.

New treatment against cancer: antiangiogenic

To develop and grow, tumors need oxygen and nutrients. They fill these needs by secreting factors that lead to the formation of a network of blood vessels that connects to the general circulation of the body. We speak of neoangiogenesis. Antiangiogenic drugs oppose the formation of this network of vessels. Thus, they "starve" the tumor and asphyxiate. These drugs have become the standard treatment for metastatic kidney cancers.

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