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There are two primary, yet distinct, kinds of kidney cancer: hypernephroma, also called renal cell cancer, and renal pelvis cancer. Hypernephroma originates when malignant cells are discovered in the lining of the tiny renal tubules of one or both kidneys. The tubules are responsible for filtering the blood, removing waste by-products, and producing urine. If the cancer originates in the area where the urine is stored and drained, it is called renal pelvis cancer.
Hypernephroma has several risk factors associated with it. They include smoking, abusing prescription pain pills, and abusing over-the-counter pain pill medications for an extended period of time. Other risk factors include a genetic predisposition to the disease or even having a related genetic condition that affects the kidneys such as hereditary papillary renal cell carcinoma or von Hippel-Lindau Disease.
As with many forms of cancer, there are some signs that a person may have hypernephroma. Among the most significant signs are blood in the urine and a lump-like mass in the stomach area; however, they may also signify other medical conditions. In the earliest stages of hypernephroma there may not be any symptoms at all. However, as the tumor gets larger, additional symptoms may appear. Other symptoms may include a persistent pain in the side of the body, loss of appetite, and anemia.
There are tests that can be conducted to determine whether someone has hypernephroma. Some of the most basic tests are the physical examination - to check for lumps or any other unusual medical issues – and the blood test – to determine the amount of toxins that are released into the blood stream and to see if the kidneys are not working to their full potential. Urinalysis and liver function tests can also be completed. A series of imaging tests can be conducted, such as intravenous pyelograms, ultrasounds, CT scans, and MRIs. The biopsy is among the most invasive and allows a pathologist to check for cancer cells under the microscope.
Although hypernephroma is curable, the prognosis depends on two main factors. First, it depends on the stage of the disease. In the later stages, it may be more difficult to cure, especially if it has spread throughout the body. There tests that can be completed to discover if the cancer has spread to the entire kidney or to other parts of the body. Unfortunately, cancer spreads easily through the blood and it infects the veins of the body in its attempt to move on to other organs. Second, it depends on the age of the patient and her overall health. The healthier the patient is the easier it is to treat.
There are several different ways to treat people with hypernephroma and several more are being tested in the clinical stages. Surgery is standard treatment for someone with the disease. Surgery can involve various stages of removal, ranging from a portion of the kidney to the entire kidney, or the kidney and some of the surrounding tissue. The other forms of standard treatment include radiation therapy, chemotherapy, biological therapy, and targeted therapy.
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