It’s a club no one wants to join. It’s the cancer club. In 2012, KCLU News Director Lance Orozco was being tested for numbness in his arm when a CAT scan discovered a tumor in his right kidney, and the odds were high it was cancerous. Orozco took listeners along on his journey through surgery, and finding out if the tumor was actually cancerous (it was). Now, Orozco takes us along again as he gets his five year CAT scan, to see how he is doing at the point which is considered to be a milestone if you are still disease free.
After the original story was posted online, it prompted e-mails and calls from people around the country coping with kidney cancer, wanting to learn more about what to expect.
He returned to UCLA for both a review of his scan, and to talk with one of the nation’s leading experts on kidney cancer.
Dr. Mark Litwin, the Chair of Urology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, notes that this is a relatively unusual form of cancer.
The American Cancer Society estimated 63,000 people will be diagnosed with kidney cancer in the U.S. this year, and about 15,000 will die. Dr. Litwin says the big problem is the cancer often goes undiagnosed and spreads, making it much more difficult to treat.
The UCLA urologist says the most common sign of a kidney problem is blood in the urine. He says it doesn’t necessarily mean kidney cancer, but can be a warning sign, and needs to be checked.
Dr. Litwin says the best thing you can do to keep your kidneys healthy is simple: Drink plenty of water, and don’t allow yourself to become dehydrated.
Link to UCLA Urology: urology.ucla.edu