Kidney Cancer

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Latest Edit: Hector 2014-01-23 (EDT)

Editor-In-Chief: Dr. Heidi Kussmann, ND, FABNO

Kidney Cancer is medically termed Renal Cell Carcimona (RCC) and is the cause of about 3% of all adult cancer types. The incidence worldwide is increasing at a rate of 2% annually. Men are affected twice as much as women, and it affects adults in the 40s and 60s.[1].

See Also Kidney Cancer Details

Kidney Cancer
Causes Infections,Smoking, Environmental Toxins
See Also Oncology
Books Books on Oncology
Articles Articles on Oncology (Cancer)

Naturopathic Assessment

Causal Factors

In order to stimulate the innate ability of the body to heal the causes of disease must be identified and addressed. A detailed assessment is required to determine which factors are contributing.


  • Lifestyle Diseases


  • Smoking is associated with increased risk of RCC.
  • Demographics
  • Urban living increases a person's risk of RCC.


  • Pollution
  • Ingestion of drinking water contaminated with arsenic has been found to cause kidney cancer, amongst other types of cancer[3]


Medical Interventions

  • Radiation
  • Individuals previously treated for cancer with radiation therapy are at a slightly increased risk for developing kidney cancer[4]

Genetics and gestational factors

  • 5% of RCC are hereditary.[5]
  • Family history of RCC
  • 35% to 45% of people with Von Hippel-Lindau disease gene positive have RCC.
  • Hereditary Type 2 papillary RCC
  • Birt-Hogg-Dube Syndrome



See Also Kidney Cancer Details The characteristics of RCC include:[1]

  • Nearly all RCC in adults are adenocarcinomas.
  • The histologic types can include Chromophil (papillary), Clear Cell, Chromophobe Collecting Duct, and Unclassified RCC.
  • These tumors start in the proximal tubular cells, invade local structures and extend to the renal vein.
  • Metastases occur through lymph and blood circulation systems.
  • Unlike most solid tumors, RCC has an unpredictable growth pattern. It can stay in one place for years, and metastatic sites can remain in one spot for years without any growth. This is not to be confused with remission which is defined as no clinical evidence of disease.
  • The other types of RCC include: Transitional Cell Carcinoma, Nephroblastoma, Lymphomas and Sarcomas, Reninomas, Hemangiopericytomas, and Benign Renal Ademonas.

Diagnostic Tests

Associated Conditions

  • Increased risk for RCC may occur with the following conditions:
  • RCC commonly causes the following paraneoplastic syndromes:[1]
  • Erythrocytosis - tumor production of erythropoietin occurs in 15-20% of patients.
  • Hypercalcemia - occurs in 5% of patients due to parathyroid homone-like proteins, and can also be a sign of bony metastasis.
  • Fever occurs in 10-20% of patients
  • Abnormal liver function - 15% of patients present with low white blood cells, fever and areas of liver destruction without metastases.
  • Hypertension
  • Hyperglobulinemia
  • Amyloidosis

Naturopathic Treatment

The goal of naturopathic treatment is to support and work in tandem with the healing power of the body. A treatment strategy is the most effective when it addresses the underlying causal factors. The treatment for prostate cancer depends on the staging (progression) of the cancer, an individual's symptoms, vitality and other conditions. The treatment strategies include: Prevention, Cancer Specific Treatments, Supportive Care and Prevent Recurrence.

It is always advisable to work with a naturopathic doctor before engaging in any treatment plan.


Prevention involves addressing any of the causal factors before they cause cancer.

Cancer Specific Treatments

The following may be beneficial in those with Kidney Cancer.[6]

  • Supplementation such as
  • Acupuncture has proven benefit in reduction of side effects from conventional cancer therapies. It is also effective at reducing pain, anxiety, supporting sleep and appetite.

Supportive Care

supportive care is often beneficial when conventional treatments such as surgery or radiation therapy are chosen.

Prevent Recurrence

Prevention of RCC recurrence is not usually an issue. Once a person has been diagnosed with RCC the focus becomes not on preventing recurrence but in living as long as possible with RCC. This is possible due to the sometimes indolent growth rate of this type of cancer.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Casciato DA. Manual of Clinical Oncology 5th ed. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins 2004. Pp 295-301
  2. Chow W, Gridley G, Fraumeni J.F., Jarvholm B(2000)Obesity, hypertension, and the risk of kidney cancer in men,New England Journal of Medicine;343:1305-1311
  3. Hopenhayn-rich C, Biggs, M.L., Smith, A.H.(1998)Lung and kidney cancer mortality associated with arsenic in drinking water in Cordoba, Argentina,International Journal of Epidemiology;27(4):561-569.
  4. Rubino C, De Vathaire F, Dottorini M.E., Hall P, Schvartz C, Couette J.E., Dondon M.G., Abbas M.T., Langlois C, Schlumberger M(2003)Second primary malignancies in thyroid cancer patients,British Journal of Cancer;89(9):1638-1644.
  5. Boyiadzis MM and Bates S. (2007). Renal Cell Carcinoma. In Boyiadzis MM, Lebowitz PF, Frame JN, Fojo T. Hematology - Oncology Therapy; (pp 437-465). New York, USA: McGraw-Hill Medical
  6. Alshuler L and Gazella KA. The Definitive Guide to Cancer, 3rd Edition: An Integrative Approach to Prevention, Treatment, and Healing 2007 Ten Speed Press/Celestial Arts Publishing pp.187-212