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Pelvic Renal and Ureteric Cancer: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

Renal pelvis and ureter cancer is cancer that forms in the kidney pelvis and ureter. Check out an explanation of the symptoms, causes, and how to treat it in the following review.

Pelvic Renal and Ureteric Cancer: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

What is Pelvic Renal and Ureteric Cancer?

Cancer can form in the renal pelvis and ureter. This type of cancer is classified as urothelial carcinoma (transitional cell carcinoma).

The renal pelvis is the hollow part of each kidney, while the ureter is the tube that carries urine from the kidney to the bladder. If left untreated, over time the cancer can spread (metastasize) to other parts of the body.

Symptoms of Pelvic Renal and Ureteric Cancer

Some of the symptoms of this cancer include:

  • Back pain that occurs continuously.
  • Pain, burning, or discomfort when urinating.
  • Fatigue.
  • Pelvic pain
  • Weight loss without a known cause.
  • Decreased appetite.
  • There is blood in the urine.
  • Anemia.
  • The urge to urinate increases.

Also Read: 10 Types of Cancer That Can Appear Without Early Symptoms, Don’t Ignore It

When is the Right Time to See a Doctor?

Immediately consult a doctor if you experience pain in the side of the waist or lower back. Also, check with your doctor if you find urine accompanied by blood.

You should also be aware of some of the symptoms mentioned above. Early diagnosis can help increase the success of treatment.

Causes of Pelvic Renal and Ureteral Cancer

Cancer of the renal pelvis or ureter occurs when there are changes in the cells in these parts of the body. The appearance of cancer begins in the lining that lines the inside of the renal pelvis or ureter (urothelial cells).

Until now, the cause of this cancer is not known with certainty. However, constant irritation to the kidneys due to harmful substances is one of the triggers.

Risk Factors

Although the cause of this condition is not yet known clearlythere are a number of factors that are known to increase the risk of developing this cancer.

Some risk factors for renal pelvis (ureter) cancer include:

  • Damage to the kidneys due to the use of certain drugs, especially drugs to reduce pain (analgesic nephropathy).
  • Smoking habit.
  • Exposure to certain chemicals or dyes, such as ingredients used to manufacture plastics, rubber, leather, and textiles.
  • Have had bladder cancer.

Renal Pelvic Cancer Diagnosis

Before making a diagnosis, the doctor or medical personnel will ask about the symptoms you are feeling and perform a physical examination, including examining the abdominal area (abdomen).

In rare cases, examination may show an enlarged kidney.

If the patient has cancer of the renal pelvis and ureter, the test results may include:

  • Urinalysis: There is blood in the urine.
  • Complete blood count (CBC): Anemia
  • Urine cytology: There are cancer cells.

In addition, cystoscopy can be done to check the condition of the bladder and urinary tract.

A number of imaging tests will also help confirm the diagnosis. Some of these tests include:

  • Chest X-ray.
  • Computed tomography (CT) scans stomach.
  • Ultrasonography (USG) of the kidneys.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) abdomen.
  • Intravenous pyelography (IVP).
  • Renal scan.

Imaging tests can show whether the cancer has spread to other parts of the body or not.

Also Read: Urinoma, Urine Accumulation that Occurs Outside the Urinary Tract

Treatment of Pelvic Renal and Ureteric Cancer

A number of treatments are aimed at eliminating growing cancer cells so they cannot spread to other parts of the body.

Some of the treatment measures that can be done, including:

1. Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy is a cancer treatment that involves administering drugs, either orally (taken by mouth) or by injection (injected).

This treatment is done when cancer cells have spread to other parts of the body outside the kidneys or ureters.

Forms of cancer of the renal pelvis and ureter are similar to cases of bladder cancer. Therefore, doctors can give the same type of chemotherapy.

2. Immunotherapy

Same with chemotherapy, cancer treatment with immunotherapy can be given when the cancer has spread to other organs besides the kidneys and ureters.

Doctors can provide the same immunotherapy treatment as cases of bladder cancer. The reason is, both are forms of cancer that are similar.

3. Operation

Surgery may be performed to remove cancer from the affected part of the body. Several surgical procedures to treat cancer of the renal pelvis and ureter include:

  • Nephrectomy: This surgery is performed to remove all or part of the kidney, including removing part of the bladder and surrounding tissue.
  • Nefrureterectomy: Surgery to remove the cancerous part of the ureter and the healthy tissue around it.
  • Resection of the ureter: This surgical procedure aims to remove the part of the ureter that has been overgrown with cancer. Doctors may also remove healthy tissue around it to prevent the cancer from spreading and preserve the kidneys.

Pelvic Renal and Ureteric Cancer Complications

Some of the complications that can occur due to this type of cancer include:

  • Local spread of tumor with pain.
  • Kidney failure.
  • Spread of cancer to other organs, such as the liver, lungs and bones.

Also Read: 6 Food Restrictions for Cervical Cancer Patients

Prevention of Pelvic Renal Cancer

Some preventive steps that can be taken include:

  • Avoid smoking habits.
  • Avoid exposure to chemical radiation or other substances that are toxic to the kidneys. If it is not possible to avoid it, be sure to use protective equipment.
  • Follow the advice of a doctor or medical personnel regarding the use of certain drugs. Also read the rules for using over-the-counter pain medications carefully.

Thus the explanation about cancer of the renal pelvis and ureter. If you experience symptoms related to kidney disease, for example pain in the side of the waist or lower back or urine accompanied by blood, immediately consult a doctor.

  1. Anonymous. 2022. Renal Pelvis or Ureter Cancer. (Accessed March 15, 2023).
  2. Anonymous. What is Cancer of the Renal Pelvis or Ureter? (Accessed March 15, 2023).

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