Kidney cancer: diagnosis and treatment

How is the diagnosis made?

After the interview, in which especially current complaints, pre-existing conditions, occupational and family burdens are asked, the doctor will perform a thorough physical examination. Depending on suspicion and therapy planning, further tests follow. These include, for example, an examination of urine and blood, an urological x-ray (urography) and an ultrasound examination, a computer or magnetic resonance imaging, a bladder mirror, tissue sampling (biopsy), bone and kidney scintigraphy or X-ray of the renal vessels.

Which therapy is there?

If the suspected diagnosis is confirmed, the primary goal is to completely remove the tumor and possibly existing secondary tumors or - if that is not possible - prevent the tumor from growing and spreading as long as possible. The preferred method depends primarily on the type of tumor, its size and localization. In principle, several methods are available that can be used individually or in combination: An operation in which the affected kidney is completely removed (as the only healing measure), radiotherapy and immunotherapy.

What must the sufferer pay attention to?

It is important that the person concerned regularly carries out the follow-up examinations. This is the only way to control the course of the disease and, in the event of a relapse, to intervene therapeutically again at an early stage or to adapt the treatment. In cases without complications, the follow-up appointments take place every 3 months in the first two years, then every six months and once a year from the fifth year onwards.

It is recommended to quit smoking; Further measures depend on the individual clinical picture and the treatment performed.

What are the course and prognosis?

The individual survival rate varies widely and depends not only on the type and location of the malignant change, but also on the time at which the tumor is detected. Cancer in the kidney area is often very late and is therefore less often - and then often by chance in the context of abdominal examinations - detected in the early stages. Nevertheless, the average survival rate is quite high compared to many other cancers.

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