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Kidney Cancer Essay

1747 words - 7 pages

Kidney Cancer

Why has kidney cancer become so common? Statistics have shown that one in every four people will develop kidney cancer in their lifetime. With that many people developing kidney cancer at some point in time, it is quite puzzling as to why a permanent cure has yet to be found. Kidney cancer is the tenth most common cancer and has been increased by 43% since 1973. The death rate has also increased by 16%." According to the American Cancer Society, 35,710 Americans were diagnosed with kidney cancer in 2004, and 12,480 died from the disease." (Carson-DeWitt, Rosalyn, and Rebecca Frey. "Kidney cancer." The Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine. Ed. Laurie J. Fundukian. 4th ed. Detroit: ...view middle of the document...

As we all learned in eighth grade science, as the cells grow they split into two, to create new cells as the body needs them. When the old cells become too old they die and the new ones replace them. Sometimes this process goes wrong and when the new cells form and the old cells do not die, the extra cells form a mass of tissue called a tumor. There are two types of tumors: Benign tumors, which are not cancerous and Malignant tumors, which are cancerous. Cells are very microscopic, so as you can imagine it takes millions of these cells to come together to form a mass that would be large enough to be detected in a ct scan. Not only did we have to learn all of the body parts but we also had to learn how all of them functioned and what would happen if one were to stop functioning.

Of course no one knows what triggers kidney cancer and doctors more than likely can not tell people what exactly caused them to develop it but they can promise that it is not a contagious disease. Kidney cancer is most commonly seen in people over the age of 40. Studies have shown that people with certain risk factors are more likely to develop kidney cancer oppose to those who do not do these things. These risk factors include smoking(smokers have twice the risk of developing kidney cancer than people who do not smoke), obesity, occupation(breathing in chemicals or harsh substances in their workplace), blood pressure, hypertension, and gender. Males are more prone to developing kidney cancer than females. 20,000 men are diagnosed with this type of cancer while only 12,000 females are diagnosed within a year. There are many cases where someone is diagnosed with this strand of cancer but have none of the risk factors that relate to kidney cancer, which is crazy!

In a lot of cases, kidney cancer is discovered on accident. To me, I do not believe that it is accidently, but to someone who may not be a religious person they may say otherwise. Kidney cancer most of the time tends to have very little symptoms during the early developmental stage, meaning that there are no signs of the tumors developing at this time. It’s during the later stage of cancer that the mass is growing large enough for people to notice it and then it begins to show symptoms. Some of the symptoms kidney cancer can have are painless urination of blood, which occurs in about 40% to 50% of patients, an abdominal mass, a hard lump (bulging under the skin that can be noticed or felt as the tumor grows), back pain that doesn’t go away, weight loss, fatigue, and an ongoing fever. A question that a lot of people stumble upon is “Does it mean I have kidney cancer if I get kidney stones?” Just because you have kidney stones does not mean that you have cancer of the kidney. Those are two totally different medical issues and there is actually a known cause/causes for why bodies sometimes throw out kidney stones.

Each person’s treatment for the cancer is different. How cancer is treated depends on many factors....

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