Renal cancer, also called renal cell carcinoma or hypernephroma, is the most common form of kidney cancer, accounting for around nine in ten cases. It occurs when cancer cells start to grow in the linings of the tubules of the kidney and often spreads fast to the surrounding organs.
Symptoms of renal cancer include a lump in the abdomen, bloody stools, unexplained weight loss, night sweats, fatigue, fever, loss of appetite, a persistent pain in the side, and vision problems. Renal cancer may be asymptomatic in the early stages of the disease.
Risk factors that may increase the likelihood of kidney cancer include older age, obesity, smoking, hypertension, treatment for kidney failure, family history of kidney cancer, exposure to hazardous substances (such as cadmium), and certain inherited conditions, such as hereditary papillary renal cell carcinoma.
Treatment of renal cancer may involve surgery to remove the cancerous part of the kidney or the whole kidney if necessary, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and medication. Drug classes used to treat renal cancer are protein kinase inhibitors, antineoplastic monoclonal antibodies, and interleukins. Even with treatment, dialysis or long-term drug therapy may be required following surgery to remove cancerous growths.