Cancer Awareness Month: Even though technology is getting better with each day passing by, human health keeps getting frail as days go by. While humans might have most things that are needed to combat any sort of implications, there are certain kinds of medical issues that are beyond understanding, Cancer is one such medical condition that can be combated with technology but there is so much more to it that even the greatest of science can fall short.
Kidney cancer is something not too many people know about and thus it is extremely important to at least grasp on the types that exist. Understanding a disease as complicated as kidney cancer and its types can be very complicated but it is important that one does so. However, before knowing the types and what they entail it is important to understand what kidney cancer is.
Understanding Kidney Cancer
Dr. Tushar Patil, Sr. Consultant-Medical Oncologist, Sahyadri Super Speciality Hospital, Deccan Gymkhana, Pune, says, “Types of Kidney Cancers comprises cancers of the kidney and a gland called the Suprarenal or adrenal gland, which is located just above the kidney. Kidney cancers are divided into two types: Clear cell type and non-clear cell type. Clear cell type is the most common, while non-clear cell types are less common. The uncommon or unclear types, then subdivided into chromophobe or papillary, totalling three or four known types.”
“It is important for us to understand these classifications because surgical management is the same, but medical management, including targeted therapy or immunotherapy, may vary slightly when dealing with the clear and non-clear types. The cancers which are associated with the suprarenal gland, which is situated above the kidney and also known as the adrenal gland are totally different. They can either secrete hormones or not and the treatment also differs significantly from kidney cancers,” he further added.
The doctor spoke about how when considering the factors contributing to renal cell cancer, it becomes evident that smoking stands out as the primary and most prevalent risk factor. Additionally, there are other common causes of renal cancer, including lifestyle choices and exposure to certain chemicals. Furthermore, a percentage of renal cancer cases is linked to family history and genetic predisposition, which can result in an increased likelihood of developing other types of tumours.
Studies indicate the factor that kidney cancer typically grows slowly. It does not develop overnight, and they are not highly aggressive. Kidney cancers can be less responsive or even unresponsive to traditional cytotoxic chemotherapy. There are two known mechanisms of cancer pathogenesis in kidney cancers: angiogenesis, which involves blood vessel proliferation, and immune-mediated mechanisms. Systemic treatments currently used take advantage of these mechanisms.
Dr. Patil also mentioned, “Regarding the surgical management of kidney cancer, the approach remains the same for large tumours, typically involving radical methods, which entail complete removal of the affected kidney along with the tumour itself. However, for patients with small tumours or patients wherever suitable, nephron-sparing surgery is an option. This procedure involves the removal of only the diseased part of the kidney, preserving as much kidney function as possible. Nephron-sparing surgeries are feasible in today’s medical era.”
Types Of Kidney Cancer
Dr Sajjan Rajpurohit, Senior Director-Medical Oncology, Max Super Speciality Hospital, Shalimar Bagh, says, “Kidney cancer originates when the cells in the kidneys begin to grow uncontrollably. It can manifest in several forms, each with its unique characteristics.”
- Clear Cell Renal Cell Carcinoma
One of the most common forms of kidney cancer is Clear Cell Renal Cell Carcinoma (CCRCC). Dr. Rajpurohit explains that CCRCC typically accounts for around 70-75% of kidney cancer cases. He emphasizes the need for early detection and its distinct treatment approaches.
- Papillary Renal Cell Carcinoma
Papillary Renal Cell Carcinoma is another prevalent type. This cancer is characterized by the growth of small, finger-like projections within the tumour. specific subtype.
- Chromophobe Renal Cell Carcinoma
Chromophobe Renal Cell Carcinoma is a rarer form, constituting only about 5% of kidney cancer cases.
- Renal Oncocytoma
Although not malignant, Renal Oncocytoma can be challenging to distinguish from cancerous growths.
Diagnosis and Treatment Options
Regular check-ups are crucial for early detection and appropriate treatment of kidney cancer. Dr. Rajpurohit informs that there are different diagnostic methods, including imaging, biopsy, and genetic testing to diagnose and treat kidney cancer.
Surgery is often the primary treatment for kidney cancer. Dr. Rajpurohit says that the surgical options include nephrectomy and partial nephrectomy.