Renal cell carcinoma is a type of cancer that accounts for approximately 85 percent of all kidney tumors. These tumors occur twice as often in men as in women and usually occur in adults between the ages of 50 and 70. Between 25 and 30 percent of patients have metastases (transmission of the cancer cells to other parts of the body) at the time of diagnosis.
Emanuel J Coroneos, MD
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What is renal cell cancer?
Johns Hopkins Medicine answered
If my kidneys are barely working, can my kidney function return to normal?
Anthony Komaroff, MD, Internal Medicine, answeredKidneys clean the blood and rid the body of waste products. Healthy kidneys function at 100%, but many medical conditions can lead to a loss of function. Once function drops below 15%, a person may need dialysis (a process to clean the blood) or a kidney transplant. Kidney function is estimated by blood tests.
Whether kidney function can improve depends on how quickly the kidney became damaged and the reasons they were injured.
Some diseases that cause rapid damage can be treated, but in most cases, kidney function will not return to 100%. If the kidney damage occurred over a longer time period (from months to years), the possibility of significantly improving the function of the kidneys is much less likely.
What happens if my test results show I may have chronic kidney disease?
National Kidney Foundation answeredIf your test results show that you may have chronic kidney disease, your doctor will want to pinpoint your diagnosis and check your kidney function to help plan your treatment. The doctor may do the following:
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- Calculate your glomerular filtration rate (GFR), which is the best way to tell how much kidney function you have. You do not need to have another test to know your GFR. Your doctor can calculate it from your blood creatinine, your age, body size and gender. Your GFR tells your doctor your stage of kidney disease and helps the doctor plan your treatment.
- Perform an ultrasound or CT scan to get a picture of your kidneys and urinary tract. This tells your doctor whether your kidneys are too large or small, whether you have a kidney stone or tumor and whether there are any problems in the structure of your kidneys.
- Perform a kidney biopsy, which is done in some cases to check for a specific type of kidney disease, see how much kidney damage has occurred and help plan treatment. To do a biopsy, the doctor removes small pieces of kidney tissue and looks at them under a microscope.