World Kidney Cancer Day: The Rise of the ‘Silent’ Disease in India

Observed annually on the third Thursday of June, World Kidney Cancer Day aims to raise awareness about kidney cancer, its symptoms, and the importance of early detection. Kidney cancer, or renal cell carcinoma (RCC), is a prevalent malignancy with numerous new cases diagnosed each year. While developed countries report higher rates due to better diagnostic capabilities and lifestyle factors like obesity and smoking, India is experiencing a rise in kidney cancer cases. This increase is attributed to lifestyle changes, enhanced awareness, and improved diagnostic facilities.

A Silent Adversary

Kidney cancer is often a silent adversary, not causing noticeable symptoms in its early stages. As the tumor grows, symptoms may emerge, such as blood in the urine, which can be visibly alarming or detected through urine tests. Persistent pain on one side of the lower back or flank, the presence of a lump or mass in the abdomen or side, unexplained weight loss, loss of appetite, persistent fatigue, intermittent fever without infection, and high blood pressure that is difficult to control are all potential warning signs.

How to Diagnose It?

Diagnosing kidney cancer involves a combination of clinical evaluation, imaging studies, and sometimes a biopsy. Common imaging studies include ultrasound, CT scans, and MRI, which provide a clear picture of the kidneys and help detect tumors. Urine tests can reveal blood and other abnormalities, while blood tests assess kidney function and detect markers associated with kidney cancer. In some cases, a biopsy is performed to obtain a tissue sample for further examination.

What Does the Treatment Involve?

Treatment for kidney cancer depends on factors such as the stage of the disease, the size and location of the tumor, and the patient’s overall health. Surgery is often the primary treatment for localized kidney cancer, which can involve removing the tumor and part of the kidney (partial nephrectomy) or the entire kidney (radical nephrectomy). Ablation techniques, such as cryoablation (freezing the tumor) and radiofrequency ablation (using heat to destroy the tumor), offer less invasive options. Targeted therapy, which involves drugs that specifically target molecules involved in tumor growth and progression, is crucial for advanced kidney cancer. Immunotherapy treatments boost the body’s immune response against cancer cells. Although less commonly used, radiation therapy may treat metastases or cases where surgery isn’t feasible.

How to Prevent the Disease?

While not all kidney cancers can be prevented, certain lifestyle changes and preventive measures can reduce the risk. Smoking is a significant risk factor, so quitting smoking is crucial. Maintaining a healthy weight through a balanced diet and regular exercise is essential, as obesity is linked to an increased risk of kidney cancer. Regular monitoring and managing of blood pressure can also help, as hypertension is another risk factor. Adopting a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains while reducing processed meats and fats is beneficial. Staying well-hydrated is also important for kidney health.

Back to top button

Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker