Kidney is an essential organ od our body, beside it is best known for its function in the urinary system, it also regulates regulation of electrolytes, blood pressure, maintains acid-base balance, produces hormone calcitriol, renin, and erythropoietin, etc. In the urinary system, kidney filters blood with billions of glomeruli by separating the cells of blood from plasma. As the plasma passing into the tubules, some necessary substances are reabsorbed back into the blood, while others waste, such as urea and ammonium are stored into pelvis then into the ureter to the bladder.

Renal cell carcinoma (Kidney cancer/renal cells)
Renal cell carcinoma is a type of kidney cancer caused by malignant cells of the limning of the tubules in the kidney. It tends first to spread via bloodstream and the second tumor generally found in the lung, but it may also spread to lymph nodes and other organs as well.

Because of less nervous in the kidney and location, the early stage of renal cell carcinoma is very hard to detect. In some case, the tumor can grow without causing any pain and discomfort.
1. Abdominal pain
Abdominal pain that is dull and constant lasting for hours
2. Back pain
Back pain that is dull and constant lasting for hours
3. Blood in urine
Due to beak off of the tumor in the tubules
4. Unintentional weight loss
Any intentional weigh loss over 10% is one of most common symptoms of cancer.
5. Flank pain is a sensation of discomfort, distress, or agony in around the back and side of abdomen
6. Swelling and enlargement of abdomen
It happens to approximate 15% of all cases of renal cell carcinoma.
7. Anemia
Due to the cancer has affected the function of erythropoietin in production of hemoglobin.
8. Varicocele enlargement
Due to blockage of the left (right) testicular vein by tumor invasion of the left (right) renal vein.
9. Hypertension
Due to secretion of renin by the tumor
10. Etc.

Causes and risk factors
1. Gender
Men are twice at risk to develop renal cell carcinoma than women. It may be due smoking habit in men.
2. Aging
Onset of renal cell carcinoma has a peak incidence in the 50 but today, the disease has a tendency to effect the younger age population.
3. Smoking
Smoking increases the risk of renal cell carcinoma.
4. Obesity
Obesity has been associated with an increased risk of renal cell cancer among women, but in study by Br J Cancer. 2001 Sept 28;85(7):984-90 found that there is no evidence of effect modification by sex. Our quantitative summary shows that increased BMI is equally strongly associated with an increased risk of renal cell cancer among men and women.
5. Diuretic and nondiuretic anti-hypertensive medication
Researcher found that there was an increased risk associated with ever use of each of the different classes of diuretic but the odds ratio was reduced to 1.1 after adjustment for hypertension. Nondiuretic antihypertensive use was associated with a similarly increased risk of prior to adjustment for hypertension
6. Family history
if one your direct family member has it, your risk of develop renal cell carcinoma increases
7. Chemical toxins
Exposure to certain environment chemical toxins may increase the risk of renal cell carcinoma.
8. Cystic kidney disease
This type of genetic disorder of the kidneys accompanied with renal deficiency can increase risk of developing of kidney cancer.
9. Von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) disease
Due to malignant transformation in multiple organ systems of the disease.
10. Etc.

Diagnosis and tests
1. Urinary test
It is one of the first test that your doctor may order. Urinary test is to check for blood in urine which can not be seen by the naked eye and other infections.

2. Ultrasound
Ultrasound allows your doctor to visualize the kidneys and around structures and to assess blood flow to the kidneys as well as looking for any abnormal cells growth mass, including cancer.

3. CT scan
A CT scan generates a large series of two-dimensional X-ray images taken around a single axis of rotation, to create a three-dimensional picture of the inside of the body in details.The pictures are viewed by your doctor to see the extent of the tumors abnormalities, such as spreading of cancer to the nearby structure and lymph nodes. This test is helped to determine whether kidney abnormality is a cyst or a tumor.

4. Arteriogram
It is done to assist the surgical planning. By using a special dye injected through a catheter into into the kidney artery with the helps of a TV monitor, X-ray images are taken as the dye moves through the blood vessels to see the location of biggest arteries.

5. Blood chemistry
blood chemistry is to check blood urea nitrogen and creatinine. If the kidneys are not working properly, the levels of BUN will build up in the blood. If creatinine are not functioning properly, creatinine can build up in the bloodstream.

6. MRI (magnetic resonance imaging)
MRI (magnetic resonance imaging is one of many advanced technology used to visualize internal structures cross sectional imaging of your body used effectively in providing the better details of the metastasis of cancer in the kidney and surrounding areas.

7. Etc.

Grades of renal cell carcinoma
The Grade of renal cell carcinoma is depending to the tendency of spreading. Low grade cancers usually grow more slowly and are less likely to spread while high grade cancer indicates otherwise.

Stages of renal cell carcinoma
1. Stage 0
Kidney (renal cells) caner is classified as Stage 0, if the cancerous cell have not penetrated in deeper tissue but in the surface of the kidney lining.
2. Stage I
In stage I, The cancerous cells are no longer in the surface but have invaded into deep kidney lining, but still completely inside the kidney.
a. Stage IA1
The cancer is not ≤ 3 mm (1/8 inch) deep and ≤ 7 mm (1/4 inch) wide.
a.1. Stage IA1: The spreading is < 3mm(1/8 inch) deep and & less than 7mm (1/4 inch) wide.
a.2. Stage IA2: The invasion area is ≥ 3 mm but ≤ 5 mm (about 1/5 inch) deep and & less than 7 mm (about 1/4 inch) wide.
b. Stage IB: The cancer in this stage have invaded the connective tissue, & less than 5mm (1/5 inch).
b.1. Stage IB1: Cancer is 4 cm large (1 3/4 inches).
b.2. Stage IB2: Cancer is ≥ 4 cm (1 3/4 inches) but & less than 5cm (1/5 inch)
3. Stage II
In stage II, the cancerous cells have spread to distant tissues, but is still within the kidney.
4. Stage III
In this stage, cancerous cells has spread to the tissues immediately surrounding the kidney.
5. Stage IV
In stage IV is the most advance stage of renal cell carcinoma as cancerous cells have spread to the distant parts of the body

A. How to avoid
1. Reduce intake of red meat
Researchers found that beef, pork or lamb as a main dish and processed meats were also associated with increased renal cell carcinoma. Red meats and processed meats had a positive association with renal cell carcinoma among males who had smoked or were overweight; among females this was the case for hamburger only.

2, Quit smoking
Smoking has associated with the increased risk of renal cell carcinoma.

3. Reduce your weight if
Obesity has been associated with an increased risk of renal cell cancer among women, but in study by Br J Cancer. 2001 Sept. 28;85(7):984-90 found that there is no evidence of effect modification by sex. Our quantitative summary shows that increased BMI is equally strongly associated with an increased risk of renal cell cancer among men and women.

4. Reduce intake of salt
dietary with high amount of salt increases blood pressure which is associated with kidney diseases, leading to kidney failure.

5. Beware of anemia
It may be a first symptoms of kidney diseases. If you are constantly tired, bruise easily or suffer from dizziness.

6. Toxins
Environment toxins can reduce the functions of your kidney and increase the risk of renal cells carcinoma.

7. Etc.

A. Diet
To learn more of healthy foods diet, please visit my previous article at
1. Soybean
In study researchers found that aspartic acid in soybean not only helps to protect the body drug toxicity and radiation, it also plays an essential role for the brain in information transmitting across the synapse, thus reducing the risk of mental disorder.

2. Kombu seaweed.
In study in the NSCLC-bearing nude mice, research found that U-fucoidan extract showed anti-tumor activity at subtoxic doses. In vitro and vivo preliminary study researchers also found that U-fucoidan extract exhibits inhibitory effect and is very potent antitumor agent in cancer therapy.

3. Blueberry
Pterostibene in blueberry is found to have similar anti-cancer property as of to the antioxidant resveratrol found in grapes and red wine.

4. Cruciferous vegetables
Cabbage, a curciferous vegetables contains high amount of indole-3-carbinol, a chemical which boosts DNA repair in cells and appears to block the growth of cancer cells

5. Garlic
Chinese garlic-lovers are not the only ones to benefit from garlic's cancer-fighting abilities, including renal cell carcinoma. John Milner, Ph.d., from Pennsylvania State University, points out in a review article tracking the anti-cancer effects of garlic that "the potential benefits of garlic appear not to be limited to a specific region of the world ..." when researchers noticed that a certain region of this country had both an extraordinarily high garlic intake and a surprisingly low rate of stomach cancer. In other study, researchers found that there is a strong link between high consumption of allium vegetables and low rates of cancer.

6. Etc.

B. Nutritional supplements
1. Antioxidant
Antioxidants are always important for preventing the oxidation cause of cancer, including kidney cancer. To read more how antioxidant helps to prevent alternation of cells DNA, causing cancer
Please go to my previous article

2. Vitamin E, iron and calcium
Researchers found that a significant inverse associations were observed for females taking vitamin E or calcium supplements. Among males, those taking vitamin E or iron for more than 5 years had reduced risks.

3. Beta-carotene and lutein/zeaxanthin
In an study of vitamin C, E, and carotenoid intake and risk of renal cell carcinoma, researcher found that dietary intake of beta-carotene and lutein/zeaxanthin was inversely associated with the risk of ( Renal cell carcinoma) RCC. specially in women, overweight or obese subjects. The relation of lutein/zeaxanthin to renal cell carcinoma was stronger in ever smokers.

4. Certain types of Vitamins and minerals
In Nutrients and renal cell carcinoma: Results from a case-control study, researchers found that numerous vitamins including vitamins A, C and K. Vitamin K , minerals, such as calcium, folate, magnesium, potassium and zinc are protective against renal cell carcinoma and Magnesium provided the greatest protection.

5. Carotenoids
A study of Intakes of fruit, vegetables, and carotenoids and renal cell cancer risk: a pooled analysis of 13 prospective studies found that increasing fruit and vegetable consumption is associated with decreasing risk of renal cell cancer; carotenoids present in fruit and vegetables may partly contribute to this protection.

5. Etc.

A. Conventional medicine
1. Surgery
a. Radical nephrectomy:
Radical nephrectomy is one of surgery of choice for localized kidney tumor or renal cell carcinoma of which the cancerous cells is either smaller and in lower stage. In this surgery, the entire kidney, along with the adrenal gland and some tissue around the kidney are removed, including nearby lymph nodes may also be removed if necessary.

b. Simple nephrectomy:
Simple nephrectomy is the procedure to remove only the kidney. It is effective in treating non invasive or earlt stage of renal cell carcinoma.

c. Partial nephrectomy:
Under certain circumstance, if simple and radical nephrectomy can not be performed such as cancer affects both kidneys, the patient has only one kidney due to previous surgery, partial nephrectomy will be applied to remove only the tumor and some of the tissue around the tumor. Normally it is used in combination with radiotherapy.

d. Side effects
Surgery and anesthesia risks

2. Biological therapy
a. Biological therapy used medicine to stimulate the immune respond to fight diseases, in this case, it is renal cell carcinoma by the use of certain drug, including interferon of which commonly use to fight off invasive renal cell carcinoma through injection.
b. Side effects
It is important to note that side effects will disappeared when the treatment is stop.
b.1. Muscle pain
b.2. Fever
b.3 Loss of appetite
b.4. Chill
b.5. Nausea and vomiting
b.6. Etc.

3. Chemotherapy
a. Chemotherapy is most use to treat with advance stage of renal cell carcinoma, as it has spread to a distant parts of the body by using drugs taken by mouth or injected into a vein or muscle of the patient to stop the growth of or to kill cancer cells. Chemotherapy is considered not very effective in treating renal cell carcinoma.
b. Side effects
b.1. Nausea
b.2. Vomiting
b.3. Hair loss
b.4. Fatigue
b.5. Anemia
b.6. Mouth sores taste and smell changes
b.7. Infection
b.8. Etc.

4. Arterial embolization
a. Arterial embolization is considered effective if the vessels which supply oxygen and nutrients to the tumor has been cut off. It is used as a palliative treatment for unresectable renal carcinoma and in patients with less advanced disease (stage I–III), leading to shrinking of the tumor.In arterial embolization, a narrow tube is inserted into a blood vessel through a small cut in the leg then passed up to the renal artery blood vessel to block the blood flow to the kidney.
b. Side effects
It is important to note that side effects will disappeared when the treatment is stop
b.1. Nausea and vomiting
b.2. Back pain
b.3. Fever
b.4, Etc.

5. Targeted therapies
Targeted therapies use drugs or other substances to block the growth and spread of cancer by interfering with specific types of cancer cells with no harm to the healthy cells by stopping the growth of cancer cells and the growth of blood vessels to the tumor with medicine taken in pill or through IV injection.
6. Etc.

B. Herbal Medicine
1. Astragalus
Researcher found that astragalus stimulates the immune system to produce T and natural killer (NK) cells, thus stopping the spreading of renal cell carcinoma.

2. Pau D’Arco
Pau D’Arco is also known as Pink Lapacho, genus Tabebuia, native to the America. It contains high levels of alpha-lapachone, beta-lapachone and xyloidone which demonstrated anti cancer effects in some studies. An article published by Dr. Daniel B. Mowrey on Pau d'Arco stated that "Lapacho has produced clinical anti-cancer effects without side effects.

3. Red Clover
Red Clover is a perennial herb, genus Trifolium, belonging to the family Fabaceae, native to Europe, Western Asia and northwest Africa. It has been used in herbal medicine to treat cancer due to its anti-cancer and anti-tumor genistein by preventing new blood vessels from forming within a tumor.

4. Reishi Mushroom
Reishi mushroom is a species of fungal, genus Ganoderma, beloning to family Ganodermataceae, it is also known as Ling Zhi in traditional Chinese medicine and highly regarded for its cancer protective action. It has been used as anti-inflammatory, antioxidative agent in TCM and researcher found that reishi mushroom promotes the body's natural cancer killer cells T lymphocytes to slow the growth of renal cancer cells.

C. Traditional Chinese medicine
1.Huang Qi
Huang Qi is also known as astragalus. The sweet herb has been used in TCM to improve endurance, protect the liver and regulate blood sugar by enhancing the functions of lung and spleen channels. In rat study, researcher found that astragalus extracts possess cytostatic properties by inhibiting tumor growth and delaying chemical-induced hepatocarcinogenesis. Researcher found that astragalus stimulates the immune system to produce T and natural killer (NK) cells, thus stopping the spreading of renal cell carcinoma.

2. Ren Shen
Ren Shen, also known as Panax ginseng. The sweet, warm aromatic herb has been used in TCM as anti-cancer, anti aging, anti stress agent and to improve cardiac function including short of breath, palpitation, instant sweating, dropping of blood pressure, etc, by enhancing the functions of lung and spleen channels. In vitro study, researcher found that Ginsenosides extracted from Panax ginseng demonstrated anticancer effects.

3. Qing Dai
Qing Dai is also known as Natural Indigo. the salty and cold herb has been used in TCM as anti inflammatory agent and to treat Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML), eczema, children epilepsy, etc., by enhancing the function of liver, lung and stomach channels. It is used in combination with other herbs to treat cancer.

4. Gan Cao
Gan Cao is also known as Licorice root. The sweet and neutral herb has been used in TCM as an anticancer, anti-inflammatory, anti virus and bacteria, anti ulcer and anti convulsion agent and to get rid of toxins, promote secretion of insulin, protect liver from toxin, etc., as it tonifies the spleen, enhances qi, clears heat, expels phlegm and synergize other herbs by enhancing the functions of all 12 channels in the body. In-vitro, researchers found that Saponins stimulate the immune system and inhibit Epstein-Barr virus expression and possess anti-cancer activities.

5. Etc.

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Author's Bio: 

kyle J. Norton - I have been studying natural remedies for disease prevention for over 20 years and working as a financial consultant since 1990. Health Researcher and Article Writer. Master in Mathematics and BA in World Literature and Literary criticism