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Cancer InDepth: Kidney Cancer

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by Wood D
 
Kidney cancer, also called renal cancer, refers to a cancer that begins in the kidneys. The kidneys are organs that filter the blood to remove liquid waste products and produce urine. Humans have two kidneys, a left and a right.
Kidneys
Kidneys and Renal Vessels
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Kidney cancer occurs when cells in the kidney divide without control or order. Normally, cells divide in a regulated manner. If cells keep dividing uncontrollably when new cells are not needed, a mass of tissue forms, called a growth or tumor. The term cancer refers to malignant tumors, which can invade nearby tissues and can spread to other parts of the body. A benign tumor does not invade or spread.
Different types of cancer can develop in the kidneys. The most common is renal cell carcinoma. The other types of cancer that can develop in the kidneys are transitional cell carcinoma, Wilms’ tumors, and renal sarcomas.

Who Is Affected

More men than women develop kidney cancer. Most cases occur in people aged 50 to 70, but it can develop in children and adults of any age.
 

References


About kidney cancer. Kidney Cancer Association website. Available at: http://www.kidneycancer.org/knowledge/learn/about-kidney-cancer . Updated January 29, 2013. Accessed June 20, 2013.


Kidney cancer. American Cancer Society website. Available at: http://www.cancer.org/cancer/kidneycancer/index . Accessed June 20, 2013.


Kidney cancer. National Cancer Institute website. Available at: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/types/kidney . Accessed June 20, 2013.

 

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