Tests and Diagnosis for Kidney Cancer

Everyone knows that cancer in most cases is not the easiest disease to treat. The procedure is long, riddled with mental, physical, and emotional pain, and takes a lot out of the patient and their support system. With it being quite a common condition in today’s world, most people have started going for regular check-ups to ensure they are clear of the threat of a positive diagnosis.

However, not many people are aware that diagnosing this disease poses its fair share of challenges too, especially in a type like kidney or renal cancer, where sometimes, it cannot be diagnosed until the accompanying symptoms are observed. The treatments for renal or kidney cancer vary according to the symptoms exhibited and the stage at which it has been detected. Given below are some of the procedures for diagnosis and treatments for kidney cancer for one to know about:

1. Urine test
The test for any kind of anomaly in the kidney can be detected in a urine test. In case of any signs of blood in the urine, the specialists will conduct a urine cytology which checks for cancer symptoms and signs.

2. Blood test
Basic blood tests or other hormonal tests can help in detecting any kind of abnormality in kidney functioning.

3. Ultrasonography
To suggest treatments for renal or kidney cancer, one has to spot any kind of lesion or tumor. Thus, if any kind of mass formation is seen in the USG, doctors may refer to specialists for further diagnosis.

4. Scans
To understand the condition of the tumor detected in the USG, doctors will suggest a CT scan or MRI in order to be sure of the position and extent of the tumor.

5. Biopsy
To check whether the detected tumor is benign or malignant, a sample tissue mass is removed from it and sent for diagnosis. This gives a better understanding of the tumor and also an indication of metastasis (if any).

6. Advanced tests to stage kidney cancer
In case of any indication of the tumor being cancerous, doctors will suggest further advanced tests to understand which stage it is in. One has to determine the stage in order to proceed with treatments for renal or kidney cancer. For this, an advanced CT scan or MRI scan is suggested.

  • 1st Stage: This is the preliminary stage when the tumor has grown to 7cm in diameter and is confined within the kidney. Treatments at this stage can guarantee a better success rate.
  • 2nd stage: Though confined within the kidney, the tumor’s size is greater than that in stage 1.
  • 3rd stage: The condition is worse than stage 2 as the tumor might show signs of metastasis and the cancerous cells are likely to have spread to the lymph nodes nearby. The tumor is large and is not restricted to the kidney.
  • 4th stage: Metastasis causes cancer to spread to several major organs such as the liver, lungs, etc. It is difficult to contain or treat and treatment methods might have a very low success rate.

7. Treatments for kidney cancer
The various types of treatments for renal or kidney cancer and these include the following:

  • Surgery: Complete or partial nephrectomy or removal of the kidney is one of the most preferred treatments in case the tumor remains confined.
  • Cryoablation: This process involves the freezing of cancer cells via a special needle inserted through the skin.
  • Radiofrequency ablation: It consists of the burning of cancer cells via electric sparks through inserted needles.
  • Biological therapy: The process uses the body’s immunity to curb cancer cells.
  • Targeted therapy: It involves using special drugs to target and kill cancer cells.
  • Radiation therapy: It is the use of X-rays to kill cancerous cells.