Can Colon Cancer Affect Kidneys?

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Even though if colon cancer doesn’t spread to the kidney, there is still chance for it to affect the kidney indirectly!

Kidneys are close enough to colon

Over time, cancer of colon can be large enough to put more pressure to organs close the affected colon. Colon (especially upper part of colon) is pretty close to the kidneys. This extra pressure may lead to urinary obstruction, too.



Urinary obstruction can occur if one or more organs of the urinary system doesn’t work well (obstructed /blocked). It can block the passage of urine, so thus you will find difficulty to pass urine.

As mentioned before, urinary system consists of kidneys, two ureters, bladder, prostate (in men), and urethra. If one or some of these organs are blocked, you can have urinary obstruction.

Over time, urine-blockage can affect organs in the urinary system, including kidneys. Even it can cause kidney failure if left untreated!

Cancers of bladder, cervix (in women), and prostate (in men) are also potential to cause urinary obstruction. Other causes include blood clots that occur in the urinary tract, damage of nerves that control bladder, kidney stones, and enlarged prostate.

The effect of some cancer treatments

Each conventional treatment for cancer (including radiation therapy and chemotherapy) carries the risks. But since colon cancer can be life-threatening if left untreated, the treatment is necessary.

While cancer treatment is usually powerful enough to kill cancer cells and stop them growing back, there is a chance it affects untargeted objects.

For instances, during radiation therapy, your specialist will direct the radiation to particular part of colon where the cancer grows. However sometime it may affect other organs close to the colon, such as kidneys. And your kidneys are also quite sensitive to radiation.

Chemo medicines are powerful to help stop cancer growth. But some of these medicines may also affect other healthy cells or nerves. In a few cases, they may also cause damage to some nerves that link to the kidneys.

If you do concern about the side effect of particular treatment you are taking, discuss with your doctor. In general, the benefit of each treatment should outweigh the risk!


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