Kidney Cancer Basics: What is the Kidney?


The kidneys are a pair of organs located at the back of the abdomen (belly area) and the main task is to clean the harmful components in the blood. The left kidney is found on the left side of the spine which the right one is found on the right side of the spine.

The size of each kidney of an adult person can expressed about as the size of his or her fist. Kidneys are covered with a thin layer of tissue just like the fruits have rind. This thin tissue layer called as renal capsule. Renal is a word of Latin origin, meaning anything related to kidneys or directly kidney itself.

An important part of the body’s endocrine organs, which called adrenal glands, is located on both kidneys. That is, the adrenal glands and kidneys are covered with fat tissue in a way that will be together. On the outermost side, there is also a membrane by the name of Gerota’s Fascia, which surrounds the adrenal glands and kidneys together.

What is the kidney do in the body?

Urinary system, which called as one of the most important system in the human body, is composed of kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra. The main aim and function of the urinary system is purifying the blood from the toxic and waste substances in the blood and body.

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a. Filtering of Blood and Regulation of Fluid/Chemicals

The most important organ of the urinary system is the kidney.

Urinary system provides filtering of blood for removing wastes and extra water that body does not need, under auspices of kidneys.

The kidneys do not only clean the harmful substances while filtering the blood, but also controls the balances of the fluids and chemicals in the blood.

However, although the primary function of the kidneys is to ensure that the body is purified from waste and toxic substances, and it is known by this aspect, in fact, kidneys have many important functions beside that.

b. Blood Pressure Regulation

The first thing to should say from these functions of the kidney is the blood pressure regulation.

Kidneys secretes many and different hormones and increases or decreases blood pressure, thus regulates the blood pressure in human body.

c. Red Blood Cell Production (RBC) Stimulation

Another important hormone produced by the kidney, stimulates the production of red blood cells (RBC). Thus, in the cases of kidney agenesis, dysfunction and diseases, the number of red blood cells may reduce which called also as anemia.

How the blood is filtered and cleaned?

To understand the filtering and cleaning function of the kidney, we should look this situation as 3 aspects, as follows.

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a. Blood comes into the kidney from renal artery

The main carrier and supplier vessel of the kidney is renal artery. Blood comes to the kidney by the way of renal artery. Renal artery carries the blood which it has toxic and waste substances that need to be cleared from in it.

b. Cleaning the blood

After blood pass the renal artery, it comes to the tiny little capillaries. These capillaries named as renal tubules and they are the primary functional unit of the kidney. When blood passing through the renal tubules and filtering, wastes and other toxic substances are taken from blood and urine is formed.

c. Producing the urine

While the blood which purified from the wastes on the part of the kidneys, it goes back to the heart by the renal vein. Urine is discharged from the body by following the ureter, bladder and urethra pathway.

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