Kidney Cancer Lawsuits
Kidney Cancer: Information on Causes, Diagnosis & Treatments
Kidney cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of one or both kidneys. Early detection is key to the successful treatment of kidney cancer. Unfortunately, many people are not diagnosed until cancer has spread beyond the kidney.
If you developed kidney cancer after taking Zantac, the personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, can help if you developed cancer after taking defective drugs.
Our lawyers can help you hold the drug's manufacturers accountable and secure the compensation you need to recover.
Call our dangerous drugs attorneys at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form today for immediate legal advice and schedule a free consultation. All confidential or sensitive information you share with our legal team remains private through an attorney-client relationship.
The American Cancer Society (ACS) estimates that there will be more than 62,000 new cases of kidney cancer and 14,000 deaths from kidney cancer in the United States in 2018.
Additionally, in 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a recall for heartburn medication Zantac after discovering that it may cause certain cancers, including kidney cancer.
Kidney (renal) cancer develops when abnormal kidney cells begin growing out of control, forming a mass of malignant tissue that becomes a tumor. Nearly all forms of kidney cancers initially start in the lining of tubules (tiny tubes) within the kidney.
According to the American Cancer Society, nearly 64,000 new cases of kidney cancer will be diagnosed in the United States in 2017. The horrible affliction affects approximately one out of 63 individuals throughout their lifetime and remains ranked in the top 10 of common cancers affecting Americans.
Types of Kidney Cancer
Most kidney cancer patients have developed renal cell adenocarcinoma/renal cell cancer, representing nearly 90 percent of all kidney cancer cases.
This form of the disease initially starts as a single tumor. However, some patients diagnosed with kidney cancer have two or more tumors simultaneously in one or both kidneys.
- Renal pelvis-associated urothelial cell carcinoma
- Mesoblastic nephroma
- Reninoma (juxtaglomerular cell tumor)
- Squamous cell carcinoma
- Mixed epithelial-stromal tumor
- Renal oncocytoma
- Bellini duct carcinoma
- Wilm's Tumor
Though rare, cancerous tumors associated with those starting in the kidneys can originate in other areas of the body.
These cancerous cells include transitional cell carcinoma, adenocarcinoma, carcinosarcoma, teratoma, renal lymphoma, inverted papilloma, and renal pelvis-associated carcinoid tumors.
Causes of Kidney Cancer
All cancers, including kidney cancer, begin with an abnormality in the DNA structure inside cells. The abnormality mutates the gene and causes the cell to grow uncontrollably during its maturation, reproduction, and death phases.
Because the cell does not die, it continually reproduces, eventually forming a tumor cell. If the cancerous cells are left untreated, they can easily metastasize (spread) beginning in the lymphatic system and out to distant body sites.
The most popular form of kidney cancer (renal cell) usually begins in the tiny tubules in the nephron. Within time, the built-up tissue will develop a tumor that can grow in one kidney or simultaneously in both kidneys.
Transitional cell carcinoma usually starts in the tubes connecting the bladder to the kidney or in the ureters or the bladder alone.
While no direct cause has been found by scientists, doctors, and researchers, there are specific risk factors for most kidney cancers that include:
- Growing Older – The risk of developing kidney cancer increases significantly once the individual has reached 60 years of age.
- Gender – Without a known explanation, men have a 50 percent greater chance of developing kidney cancer than women, with or without unexplained weight loss.
- Dangerous Drugs - Many people have developed serious injuries from Zantac use, including over-the-counter Zantac and other drugs (ranitidine products) with high levels of NDMA, a probable human carcinogen.
- Obesity – Being extremely overweight can significantly increase the disease’s potential.
- Smoking Tobacco Products – Smokers are at a much greater risk of developing the disease. However, the kidney cancer risk can drop significantly once the individual quits smoking.
- High Blood Pressure (Hypertension) – Doctors have yet to determine if it is hypertension or the medication used to treat the condition that is the root cause of developing kidney cancer.
- Environmental Exposure – Individuals exposed to chemicals, including cadmium, trichloroethylene, and asbestos, have a high potential risk of developing renal cell carcinoma.
- Existing Kidney Condition – Individuals suffering from chronic kidney failure or are taking immunosuppressive medications after receiving a kidney transplant are more likely to develop kidney cancer (renal cell carcinoma) than those without an existing kidney condition.
- Genetic Predisposition – Individuals whose family have a history of kidney cancer has a five percent chance of inheriting the disease. However, only a few known genes have been correlated with the development of kidney cancer, and many of those have been linked to certain genetic syndromes.
Developed Kidney Cancer Symptoms
Many of the first signs of the disease are not obvious. However, over time, individuals can develop certain signs, and symptoms associated with the disease, including:
- Hematuria (blood found in urine)
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- A lump or mass on the back or side
- Swollen legs or ankles
- Pressure or pain in the back or side
- Unexpected weight loss
- Loss of appetite
- Ongoing fatigue
- Low red blood cell count (anemia)
- Recurring fever not associated with infections, flu, or the cold
- Enlarged testicle varicocele veins in men that form in clusters
Many kidney cancer symptoms and signs also occur in other diseases. Because of that, the doctor must perform numerous tests to rule out kidney stones, urinary tract infections, bladder infections and other conditions that mimic the early stages of kidney disease.
Diagnosing The Disease
While some cases of kidney cancer are diagnosed by the symptoms associated with the disease, the early stages of the disease are often detected in its laboratory test results or imaging (CT scan, MRI, PET scan, x-ray) or when the patient is receiving to diagnose another condition.
If the diagnostician suspects that the individual has kidney cancer, they need to confirm the cancer diagnosis with other tools, including:
- A Comprehensive Medical History – The doctor will confirm whether the patient has a personal, medical, or family history of kidney cancer, or identify if they developed cancer after taking Zantac.
- A Complete Physical Examination – Through a physical exam, the doctor can be informed of health problems, including developing kidney cancer. Typically, the doctor will examine the abdomen and abdominal organs to look for an abnormal mass before ordering imaging and laboratory tests.
- A Complex Laboratory Test Panel – This test panel will include a urinalysis, complete blood count, and comprehensive blood chemistry test.
- Imaging Tests – The patient can undergo imaging tests, including x-rays, magnetic field resonance imaging, sound waves, or the use of radioactive material to create a picture of the body's internal abdominal organs. These tests can determine what is happening in the affected area if cancerous cells are present have spread, if the patient's treatment has been effective has spread, or if the patient's treatment has been effective.
Treating Kidney Cancer
The most successful approach to treating kidney cancer will often be based on various factors, including the patient's overall health, the type, and severity of the disease, and if it has metastasized (spread) to other areas of the body. Usually, the doctor will recommend:
- Nephrectomy – The surgeon can perform a surgical nephrectomy procedure to remove the diseased kidney, adjacent lymph nodes, and surrounding tissue.
- Sometimes, the doctor also removes the adrenal gland associated with the affected organ. These surgeries are done robotically, laparoscopically through a tiny incision, or a large open incision operation.
- Nephron Sparing Procedure – The doctor will remove only the tumor and a small portion of the surrounding tissue during this procedure instead of removing the entire affected kidney. This procedure can be a better option than a radical nephrectomy that removes the entire organ, diminishing the need for dialysis and reducing the potential for future complications.
- Cryoablation – In this procedure, the doctor freezes the cancerous cells using a special insert needle using x-ray guidance into the kidney tumor.
- Radiofrequency Ablation – During the surgical procedure, the doctor inserts a special needle through the skin into the kidney tumor and uses heat to destroy the cancerous cells.
- Radiation Therapy – Using high-powered energy beams generated by x-ray machines, the therapist can isolate and destroy cancerous cells in the kidney or to other areas in the body.
The type of medical care and treatment the patient receives depends on the severity and cancer's severity and type and if it has spread to other body areas.
Filing Zantac Kidney Cancer Lawsuits
Have you been diagnosed with kidney cancer after taking Zantac or other drugs contaminated with NDMA?
If so, you might be entitled to file a Zantac kidney cancer lawsuit to pursue financial compensation.
Taking Zantac has been shown to increase the risk of different cancers in some people.
Many injury lawsuits have been filed against GlaxoSmithKline that were consolidated into a multi-district litigation (MDL) under federal judge by the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML).
Many victims filing lawsuits have already been compensated for the damages paid by the drug manufacturers or their doctor's insurance company for medical malpractice for providing substandard medical care.
Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer After You Develop Kidney Cancer
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC is actively investigating cases involving people who have developed kidney cancer after taking Valsartan.
We accept all Zantac kidney cancer lawsuits and medical malpractice claims on a contingency fee basis, meaning you owe our law firm nothing until your case is resolved through a jury verdict or negotiated settlement.
If you or a loved one took Valsartan and developed kidney cancer, visit our Valsartan lawsuit information page. Call us today at (888) 424-5757 to schedule a free consultation.
We are also prosecuting CPAP lawsuits where people have developed cancer.