Renal Cell Carcinoma
Cancer is the second leading cause of death next to cardiovascular disease. There are many types of cancers, and different stages of cancer. There are also many different treatment options available today to fight this horrible disease. There are new drugs coming out that have showed significant results in prolonging life, and have helped reduce the size of tumors and slow down the progression of this disease. One of the more remarkable drugs out now is the drug Sunitinib malate or Sutent for short. Sutent is mainly used in patients with advanced metastatic renal cell carcinoma.
Renal cell carcinoma also known as hypernephroma is defined as a malignant tumor resembling the tissue of the suprarenal gland and occurring in the kidneys. Fever, loin pain, haematuria, and swelling are among the presenting symptoms, but the tumor may be symptomless for many years. Surgical removal is the initial treatment; hypernephromas are fairly insensitive to cytoxic drugs and radiotherapy- although hormone treatment may help- and are prone to spread via the bloodstream, for example, to the lungs (Black, 342). Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is a form of kidney cancer and metastatic, or means that it is in advanced stages and has already begun to spread throughout other parts of the body. Metastatic renal cell carcinoma is the most common and one of most resistant tumors in urology with only a less than 10% survival rate for 5 years (Patel). RCC is more common in men than women and is most common in people over 50. There are different forms of renal cell carcinoma; clear cell, papillary, chromophobe, collecting duct, and unclassified. The way renal carcinoma is classified into these categories is based on how the cancer cells look under a microscope. Clear cell is the most common form of RCC; about 8 out of every 10 people have this form of RCC. When observed under a microscope the cells appear very pale, and clear. Papillary is the second most common form of RCC, about 10%-15% have this form of RCC. This form has small finger-like projections (papillae) throughout the tumor. To detect this form of RCC the doctors rely on dye to make the papillae visible. Chromophobe accounts for about 5% of RCC patients and is similar to clear cell RCC when observed under a microscope. The cells appear pale and clear, but are much larger than clear cell RCC. Collecting duct is a very rare form of RCC, and can be identified by irregular tubes forming throughout the tumor. Unclassified is the rarest form of RCC. If none of the cancer cells fall into any of the other classifications or convey several characteristics of other forms of RCC it falls under the category of unclassified. Cancer is classified into four stages; stage I cancers are small localized cancers that are usually curable, stage II and III cancers are usually locally advanced and/or with involvement of local lymph nodes, stage IV caners usually represents inoperable or metastatic cancer.
Kidney cancer is usually found in the earlier stages before it has reached mestasis, but in some cases the cancer may not be found until the later stages once it has already spread to other areas causing more symptoms. There are no simple tests to check for kidney cancer that aren’t at high risk. Early stages of kidney cancer do not tend to present any signs or symptoms, but the later stages can. Some of the signs and symptoms are; blood in the urine, low back pain on one side, a mass or lump on the lower back or on the side, fatigue, weight loss, fever that does not go away after a few weeks, and swelling of the legs and ankles. There are many tests that can be performed to test for kidney cancer if you are at high risk, and several tests to check to see how far the cancer has spread; CT scans, urinalysis, blood tests, bone scans, MRI, A CT scan, ultrasound, IVP, Angiography, chest X-rays, lab tests, and FNA biopsy.
The cause of RCC is unknown but there...
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