Can Kidney Cancer Die on It’s Own?

For hundreds of years, the spontaneous regression of cancer is a phenomenon that has been studied and observed. Unfortunately the answer remains puzzling. But although this issue is still debatable, today spontaneous remission of cancer is accepted as an indisputable fact. How about kidney cancer? Can it go into spontaneous regression or even die on it’s own?

What is spontaneous regression in cancer?

image_illustration432It is a term used to describe a partial or complete remission of cancer that occurs spontaneously, without any treatment or with inactive treatment (such as treatment that is commonly perceived as irrelevant to the cancer progression). But it doesn’t means that the cancer is definitely cured.

The word ‘remission’ is used since there is always a chance for the cancer to come back. There is also no procedure to completely scan all of the cancer cells remaining in the body. Therefore the doctor cannot tell whether all of them have been successfully removed.

The good news, a complete remission (when there is no any sign of the cancer) that lasts more than 5 years may lead to a cure. Because the recurrence of cancer is likely to be found within 5 years after the diagnosis – on the other hand, it’s rare to be found more than 5 years after the remission.

What is kidney cancer?

As the name implies, it is a primary cancerous tumor in the kidney that develops from the original cells of the kidney. There is also a term called secondary kidney cancer – it is a cancer that first started elsewhere in the body and spreads to the kidney. In this section, we’re talking about primary kidney cancer.

Kidney cancer has a number of different types. For more information about these types, see this post. And the most common type is renal cell carcinoma.

The prognosis of the disease can vary. But in general, it is dependent on several factors particularly such as the stage and grade of the cancer. The higher stage and grade of the cancer means it is more difficult to treat.

Fortunately, the prognosis and life expectancy of people with kidney cancer is pretty awesome. Most of them can survive 5 years or more after following the first diagnosis and treatment – read more in here!

So, can kidney cancer die or go away on it’s own?

When talking about spontaneous regression of cancer, kidney cancer is one of the few exceptions. It seems that there is a relatively high rate of spontaneous regression in kidney cancer if compared to other types of cancer.

Spontaneous regression in cancer is rare (including for kidney cancer). However here it is well-known phenomenon or even well documented, especially for renal cell carcinoma – which also means there are always a reason for hope.

Renal cell carcinoma is one of the most frequent types of malignant tumors related to spontaneous regression, according to many studies observing this phenomenon. Here the rate and percentage of spontaneous regression if compared to other cancers may be several times higher!

The first publication of this phenomenon was in 1928, by Bumpus. Then many studies have tried to explain this issue afterward. New cases of this phenomenon are now also documented each year in the literature worldwide.

The spontaneous regression of renal cell carcinoma can be classified into several categories. Some of these are as follows:

  1. Regression of the primary tumor.
  2. Regression of metastases.
  3. Prolonged remission.
  4. Delayed metastases.

The number of cases for each category differs significantly. Each case is unique and there is no any formula or statistic that can tell us exactly what will happen. But in general, the chance to have spontaneous regression is relatively higher if the cancer has not become advanced.

The same goes for the overall prognosis and outlook of the disease. Kidney cancer is much easier to treat if caught early. But if it has become advanced or has metastasized (spread to a distant organ), the treatment is likely to be aimed to control the cancer – not to cure it.

Is the spontaneous regression of renal cell carcinoma an illusion?

Although it is well-known phenomenon and has been studied for many years, but in fact this issue is not fully understood yet. Furthermore there are also several uncertainty factors associated with this phenomenon that have to be addressed, these include: