Benign Kidney Tumor

Benign Kidney Tumor

What is benign kidney tumor?

Kidney tumor looks like homogeneous brown, often with a central scar, also characterized by polygonal eosinophilic cells arranged in clusters. The cells are rich in mitochondria, the cell nuclei are in part pleomorphic. The assignment of tumors with nuclear atypia to kidney tumor or renal cell carcinoma is controversial. Its also an abnormal growth in the body comprised of a mass of cells. When a kidney tumor is classified as benign, it means the growth does not meet the requirements to be classified as malignant. This means the benign kidney tumor does not grow quickly, spread to other parts of the body or act aggressively toward other organs. Benign tumors grow very slowly and are generally self-contained. Once removed, a benign tumor should not reappear. Benign tumors also are noncancerous. Most are asymptomatic, are discovered incidentally, and are not immediately life threatening.

Types of Benign Kidney Tumor

What are the types of benign kidney tumors?

There are 5 types of benign kidney tumors include:

  • Renal Adenoma
  • Renal Oncocytoma
  • Angiomyolipoma
  • Fibroma
  • Lipoma

Renal Adenoma

Renal adenomas are the most common form of benign, solid kidney tumor, and are typically small, low-grade growths. Their cause is unknown. Because they usually are asymptomatic, their incidence is unknown, although one study found them present in 7% to 22% of autopsy cadavers. In rare cases, when they have grown large enough to affect kidney function or adjacent vessels, symptoms similar to those of RCC may occur.

Adenoma cells look much like low-grade RCC cells under a microscope. In fact, while they are considered benign, there is presently no known cellular classification to differentiate them from RCCs. Many researchers and physicians regard them as early stage precancers, to be treated accordingly.

Renal Oncocytoma

Oncocytoma is a benign, usually asymptomatic tumor that can grow quite large. They can develop throughout the body and are not unique to the kidneys. Their cause is unknown, and they appear with greater frequency in men than in women. Typically, they are discovered incidentally by ultrasound, IVP, CT, or MRI scan for an unrelated health problem.

Under a microscope, many oncocytomas resemble early-stage RCCs. Many physicians regard them as precancerous growths to be surgically removed unless the patient’s age or overall health condition dictates otherwise.


Also known as renal hamartoma, angiomyolipomas are rare benign tumors usually caused by an inherited genetic mutation. They can occur on an isolated, individual basis, but most often are associated with a rare genetic disease called tuberous sclerosis, which can cause tumors in the skin, kidneys, brain, and other organ systems. About 80% of persons diagnosed with tuberous sclerosis also have angiomyolipoma.

In patients without tuberous sclerosis, these tumors most often occur in middle-aged women. Most cases are discovered when the patient undergoes a CT scan for an unrelated abdominal problem, suffers gastrointestinal discomfort, or suffers a sudden hemorrhage caused by the rupture of a large tumor.

Management of the condition depends on the size of the tumors and the severity of the symptoms they produce. Asymptomatic patients and those with small tumors usually are not treated; instead, they are observed periodically with an eye toward surgery if the tumors grow or produce symptoms. Because of the potential for spontaneous rupture and life-threatening hemorrhage, patients with large tumors usually are considered candidates for some form of surgical treatment, ranging from partial nephrectomy to arterial embolization.


Fibromas are tumors of the fibrous tissue on, in, or surrounding the kidney. They are rare and are more common in women. Their cause is unknown and most do not cause symptoms. Usually they grow on the periphery of the kidney and can become large before becoming clinically obvious. While generally benign, these tumors have no special characteristics to differentiate them from malignant tumors of the kidney. Because of this uncertainty of diagnosis, partial or radical nephrectomy is the standard treatment.


Lipomas are rare renal tumors that originate in the fat cells within the renal capsule or surrounding tissue. They typically occur in middle-aged women, can grow very large, and produce pain and hematuria. Like many benign tumors, they may become cancerous and usually are treated with total nephrectomy.

Symptoms of Benign Kidney Tumor

What are symptoms of benign kidney tumor?

The sypmtom are included below:

  • Bleeding
  • Fatigue
  • Weight Loss
  • Flu-like fever
  • Pain

The benign tumors are essentially cysts of the kidney, fluidĀ­ filled sacs. These may occur in one kidney or both, and may produce a large mass in the abdomen of the patient.


Causes of Benign Kidney Tumor

What are the causes of benign kidney tumor?

A kidney renal oncocytoma is a benign kidney tumor, though it looks like a renal cell carcinoma (RCC). Unlike an RCC, an oncocytoma is not cancerous. Most cases have no recurrence or mortality, and many have no symptoms. However, because a kidney renal oncocytoma can grow to be quite large and can be confused with an RCC, removing a kidney is the typical treatment.

Kidney Oncocytoma’s have a dense accumulation of mitochondria (the energy powerhouse of the cell). Unfortunately, the cause of this is unknown. They are most frequently found in patients with Birt-Hogg-Dube Syndrome, a disease characterized by benign tumors of the hair follicle, skin, and kidney.

Diagnosis of Benign Kidney Tumor

Is there any diagnosis of benign kidney tumor?

History: Symptoms depend on the cell type of origin, size and location of the growth, and the organ system involved. Individuals may report noticing a lump or skin change. If an abdominal tumor is pressing on the stomach or nearby structures, individuals may complain of nausea, a sense of fullness, or weight loss. When tumors compress or disturb nerves, they can cause pain or disorders such as dizziness, unsteadiness, vision problems, weakness, or headaches.

Physical exam: Physical findings vary according to the site and size of the tumor. Examination may reveal a lump or skin change when the tumor is located in the soft tissue such as the breast, abdomen, muscle, or skin. However, if the tumor is small and is located in a deep structure such as the lungs, brain, or other organs, no physical abnormalities may be found.

Tests: Diagnostic imaging may be used to visualize internal organs and to determine the location and size of a suspected tumor. X-ray, ultrasound, high resolution computed tomography (CT), or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may be used either alone or in combination to examine tissue in more detail, depending on location involved. Direct inspection of certain internal organs may require the use of an endoscope, a small, lighted fiberoptic instrument that is passed into the organ or cavity being examined. This minimally invasive technique is used most often for examinations of abdominal or pelvic organs such as the colon (colonoscopy), stomach and adjacent organs of the gastrointestinal tract (gastroscopy), bladder (cystoscopy), and abdominal cavity (laparoscopy). Thoracotomy or thorascopy may be used to examine the lungs.

Differentiating between benign and malignant tumors requires an evaluation of tumor cells by a pathologist (histopathologic examination). Diagnosis usually is confirmed by microscopic examination of tumor tissue cells that have been removed surgically (biopsy) or aspirated by needle biopsy and stained by appropriate techniques. For example, up to 50% of benign lesions in the lung are identified by biopsy and cell differentiation study (Gould). Differentiation refers to the extent to which cells resemble the normal cells of origin in terms of size, morphology, and function. Differentiation can range from well-differentiated, as in benign lesions, to moderately well differentiated, which can be either benign or malignant, to cells showing much less differentiation (anaplastic), or undifferentiated; anaplastic and undifferentiated lesions are characteristically malignant with many changes in size, shape, and degree of proliferation. Benign tumor cells retain many of the same features as the cells of the tissue from which they arose, although the tumor tissue typically will be denser than normal tissue, and cell proliferation will be less than in malignant tumors.

Distinguishing between a benign and malignant lesion also depends on the presence of metaplasia or dysplasia in the tissue. Metaplasia describes a condition of tissue damage, repair, and regeneration of cells; however, the replacement cells are not of the same type as the original tissue. The cells in the tumor are abnormal and have differentiated into tissue of another kind. Dysplasia refers to disordered growth that includes loss of uniformity among cells and changes in their composition that are typical of malignant neoplasms.

Treatment of Benign Kidney Tumor

Can benign kidney tumor be cured?

A benign tumor is a mass that does not display any characteristics related to cancerous tumors. When a tumor is discovered, a biopsy may be performed to determine if it is benign. Benign tumors don’t imbed themselves into surrounding tissue or organs and they grow at a slow rate without much change over a period of months. They can appear anywhere in the body including in the skin, organs and tissues. A benign tumor can show as a lump underneath the surface of the skin that could be painful or result in inflammation and swelling of the area. Tumors that are benign can also affect the surrounding organs depending on their size. Treatments for a benign tumor depend on its size, location, classification and types of cancer.

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