Among so many pathologies already known when the topic is cancer, little is heard about kidney cancer and everything that involves its diagnosis and treatment. This type of cancer can be considered relatively uncommon, affecting about 150 thousand people in the world, mostly men in the age group of 50 to 70 years old. But despite the low incidence, data from Globocan, a project of the World Health Organization (WHO), indicate that for every two patients diagnosed with kidney tumors, one ends up dying. In large part, the main reason for the high death rates is due to the late discovery of the disease, when metastases are already present.
The issue will be addressed this week during the soap opera. In fiction, the diagnosis will be of a malignant tumor in the left kidney in which the organ has even lost its function. Due to the advanced stage of the disease and to prevent possible metastasis, the doctor will suggest the immediate removal of the affected kidney. In such cases, urgency is paramount. “In its early stages, kidney cancer usually presents few symptoms and, often, its diagnosis is made as an occasional finding in imaging exams performed for other reasons” highlights Dr. Andrey Soares, oncologist at Centro Paulista de Oncologia (CPO ), São Paulo unit of the Oncoclínicas Group.
Still according to the specialist, a small number of patients have a palpable abdominal mass, pain and the presence of blood in the urine. Other symptoms such as shortness of breath, weight loss and bone pain can be a consequence of the disease’s metastases. “Confirmation of the diagnosis is only possible after analysis by the pathologist, who often occurs after surgical approach to the lesion or biopsy of some metastasis”, points out Dr. Andrey Soares.
There are 5 different types of kidney cancer, namely:
Renal Clear Cell Carcinoma: known as RCC (Renal Cell Carcinoma) is the most common, occurring in 70% to 90% of cases. It comes from the tube responsible for filtering blood purities.
Papillary Carcinoma: Less common, this cancer affects about 10% to 15% of cases. It is an aggressive type that can cause metastasis. It usually causes obstruction of the urinary tract, causing pain. There is type 1 and type 2 papillary carcinoma.
Chromophobic Renal Carcinoma: It occurs in about 5% of cases and is considered one of the least aggressive.
Collector Ducts: An extremely rare type of cancer that affects a kidney structure called Bellini’s Tube.
Sarcomatoids: In general, it occurs in concomitance with other types, especially clear cell carcinoma, being a component of the same and with more aggressive characteristics.
Causes and treatment
Kidney cancer has varied causes such as smoking, obesity, high blood pressure, end-stage renal failure and family history, as well as some rare clinical syndromes, the presence of acquired cystic kidney disease, prolonged use of non-steroidal analgesics, and occupational exposure to some agents such as cadmium and oil products, among others.
Dr. Andrey explains that the choice of treatment depends on factors varying from the type and extent of the cancer to the patient’s clinical conditions, which may include surgery and / or molecular target therapies. This is a tumor that does not respond to chemotherapy, the exception being Bellini’s duct tumors. “We have obtained excellent results in the use of immunotherapy alone or in combination with each other or with target therapy in the treatment of kidney tumors. Currently in Brazil already available for isolated use in the event of an initial treatment failure ”, he concludes.
Founded more than three decades ago by clinical oncologists Sergio Simon and Rene Gansl, the Centro Paulista de Oncologia CPO, São Paulo unit of the Oncoclínicas Group, offers comprehensive and individualized care to cancer patients. With a clinical staff of more than 50 oncologists and hematologists and a trained multiprofessional team composed of: psychologists, nutritionists, pharmacists, clinical pharmacists, nurses, reflexologists and a doctor specializing in Integrative Medicine. It offers oncological and hematological medical consultations, outpatient application of chemotherapy, immunobiologicals and support medications, multidisciplinary outpatient assistance, in addition to a 24-hour telephone support service for patients and medical monitoring during hospital admissions.
The CPO has Canadian diamond accreditation (Accreditation Canada), from the Canadian Council on Health Services Accreditation, which gives the service the certificates of “excellence in management and assistance” and qualifies the institution in the exercise of the best practices of medicine in accordance with the international assessment standards. The institution also has an international partnership with the Dana Farber Institute / Harvard Cancer Center, which guarantees the possibility of exchanging information between Brazilian and American specialists, as well as discussing clinical cases. In addition, it provides continuing medical education to the CPO clinical staff and medical specialists, with classes and events with novelties in studies and advances in the treatment of the disease. Currently, the CPO has two service units in São Paulo, in the neighborhoods of Higienópolis and Vila Olímpia.