Kidney cancer myths vs facts: A doctor explains

Does every person with kidney cancer needs to get the entire organ to be removed? Can it not be cured? A doctor clears the air!

Myths about kidney cancer
Know the right facts about kidney cancer from a doctor. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Dr. Sujit Chatterjee Published on: 17 August 2022, 11:17 am IST
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We are all aware of the seriousness and lethal potential of cancer. However, only a small portion of people are aware that kidney cancer is one of the top 10 malignancies in the globe. A cancer develops in the kidney due to the buildup of abnormal cells, and the tumour eventually spreads outside of the kidney. Although it is uncertain what causes kidney cancer, a few prevalent misconceptions need to be busted.

If you know someone in the family who is going through kidney cancer, or you just want to increase your awareness about it for the sake of your loved ones, here’s what you must know.

7 common myths about kidney cancer:

Myth 1: Kidney cancer is rare

Fact: It is among the ten most common cancers in men and women. Early cancers are found thanks to the increased frequency of yearly health examinations. In fact there are many common habits that are hurting kidney can cause kidney cancer.

Myth 2: Teenagers are primarily affected by kidney cancer

Fact: This isn’t entirely a myth. It is not one of the cancers that affects young people more than others. However, with one-third of the population under 50, a recent Indian study indicates that the frequency is higher among the younger generation. Kidney cancer is more frequently discovered in younger generations thanks to altered lifestyle and dietary choices as well as more executive health checks. Malignancies that run in families are rare and can affect anyone at any age.

Kidney care is important
Kidney problems can alter your lifestyle. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Myth 3: Renal cell carcinoma is the only kind of kidney cancer

Fact: Although it is not the only type of kidney cancer, renal cell carcinoma is the most common. There are other different types of kidney cancer that can affect people and are probably more dangerous to their lives. A majority of people assume that this type of tumour is the only one that affects the kidneys because it is present in 90% of cases of kidney cancer. The kidney’s lining is the site of the initial cancerous growth before it spreads to the kidney’s internal cells.

Myth 4: Kidney cancer cannot be cured

Fact: Modern diagnostic techniques can identify kidney cancer at an early stage, allowing for kidney-preserving operations. A patient can prevent renal failure and lead a relatively normal life with consistent monitoring. However, you can avoid kidney stones and other kidney-related issues by maintaining good renal health.

Myth 5: Kidney cancer treatment always needs removal of the entire kidney

Fact: Due to improved understanding of the disease process and contemporary technologies, the complete kidney does not need to be removed. The kidney is not removed; only the tumour is. Surgery to spare the kidneys is the name of the process.

Myth 6: When compared to laparoscopic or open surgery, robotic surgery is more expensive

Fact: The IRDAI, India’s insurance regulatory body, has approved robotic surgery for inclusion in insurance coverage. As many people as possible can gain from this technology, which is now widely used worldwide. Additionally, we do not include the costs of a patient’s extended hospital stay after an open operation or the costs of a delayed return to work, which we refer to as disability-adjusted life years, when comparing surgical expenses (DALYs).

kidney surgery
Your doctor should explain the type of surgery you may need. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Myth 7: People with kidney cancer should avoid getting the flu vaccine

Fact: If recommended by their nation’s standards, kidney cancer patients should have the influenza vaccination. Many kidney cancer patients receive immunotherapies or targeted therapies and tolerate the flu shot without any negative side effects. However, they should always abide by the recommendations of their treating physician.

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About the Author
Dr. Sujit Chatterjee Dr. Sujit Chatterjee

Dr. Sujit Chatterjee CEO, Dr L.H. Hiranandani Hospital, Mumbai

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