Occasionally, mineral deposits form in the kidneys – typically, when there are high levels of calcium (or oxalate
or uric acid) in the kidneys and/or not enough water in
the kidneys to dissolve wastes. These undissolved wastes
leave deposits in the kidneys, which then form crystals
and kidney stones.
Kidney stones can often pass naturally. Some cases, however,
may require other procedures to break up or remove stones,
including lithotripsy, a procedure that uses shock waves
to break the stone into passable pieces.
There are also a number of varieties of cancer that affect
the kidneys – the most common of which is called
renal cell carcinoma. Early detection of this form of cancer
important – and can result in a successful surgery
that removes only the cancerous part of the kidney instead
of the entire kidney.