There are two common type of cancer of the kidney. Cancer involving the fleshy part of the kidney is called Renal Cell Carcinoma and that involving the inner lining of the kidney is called Transitional Cell Carcinoma.
A . RENAL CELL CARCINOMA
The cancer in the kidney causes a lump. This lump is often detected incidentally during a routine ultrasound scan of the abdomen. It is also common to present itself as haematuria – blood stained urine. In more advanced cases the patient may present with a palpable lumb and general weakness.
Besides clinical history and examination, the Urologist will require detailed CT urogram to diagnose and determine the stage of the cancer.
The best treatment for this disease is removal of the tumour. If the tumour is detected early, the uninvolved parts of the kidney can be spared and a partial nephrectomy performed. If the tumour is more advanced, the whole kidney may have to be removed. Both these surgeries can be performed by laparoscopy.
Chemotherapy and Radiotherapy are less effective forms of treatments that are used as an adjuvant to surgery.
B .TRANSITIONAL CELL CARCINOMA
This tumour involves the inner lining of the kidney and therefore presents often with haematuria-blood in urine.
Detailed CT scan and cystoscopy (examination of the bladder with a telescope) are required to complete the diagnosis and stage the disease.
Radical Nephro Ureterectomy may often be required. This requires complete removal of the kidney along with the complete length of ureter, the tube connecting the kidney to the bladder along with that part of the bladder adjascent to the opening of the ureter into the bladder. This extensive surgery was being done in two steps with two incisions by open surgery. This can however be done completely laparoscopically now with remarkably less morbidity and hospital stay.