What is Kidney Cancer?
Cancer occurs when body cells grow out of control. The outgrown cells lead to tumor formation or damaged tissues. Cancer cells can grow on any organ in the body. If cancer cells grow on the kidney, kidney cancer occurs. Usually, the risk of kidney cancer increases as you age. Some factors can lead to an increased risk of kidney cancer. These factors include a genetic family history of the illness, smoking , over dosage of painkillers or exposure to harmful chemicals.
There are several forms of kidney cancer: renal cell carcinoma forms on the inner tubes of the kidney and is common in adults. Cancer cells can also grow at the center of the kidney leading to transitional cell carcinoma. Wilm’s tumor is a form of kidney cancer common in children.
Understanding kidney cancer symptoms will help you identify the condition early and curb its spread. If diagnosed early and the right treatment options adopted, kidney cancer can be cured. It is for this reason that its imperative to master all kidney cancer symptoms. Signs and symptoms of kidney cancer may not be visible in the early stages. As the illness progresses, some symptoms occur and they include:
Blood in Urine
This is the most common symptom of kidney cancer. The blood in urine will be visible enough and leads to change in the color of urine. Urine may have a dark brown coloration and could also be reddish. This is a common symptom irrespective of whether you are suffering from transitional or renal cell cancer. Blood in urine can also be detected while undergoing routine physical examinations such as scans, ultra sound or urinalysis. Urinalysis can help identify even a slight amount of blood in urine.
Discomfort in the back and side of abdomen
You are not likely to experience pain until kidney cancer is at an advanced stage. The pain is experienced on one side of the body. Usually, its on the area above the pelvis and below the ribs. It could either be a dull pain or a persistent ache depending on the severity of the condition. It is advisable to undergo a checkup whenever you feel pain whether mild or intense. Lower back pain has also been associated with kidney cancer. Thus, the discomfort does not necessarily have to be in the abdomen area.
Swelling in the abdomen
When cancer cells develop on the kidney area, a tumor could result and this will lead to a lump in the abdomen. It is not easy to notice or feel the lump as they appear deep within the abdomen. Normally, lumps are traced through imagery tests. For instance, upon undergoing a computed tomography, a physician can trace the exact position of a tumor. The growth can also be located through magnetic resonance imaging scans. You do not have to wait until you experience a discomfort to undergo these scans. Embracing routine check ups and scans is the way to go!
General fatigue and anemia
Also among the leading kidney cancer symptoms is anemia and general tiredness. The fatigue resulting from cancer tends to be persistent and cannot be solved by taking some rest. You are likely to feel fatigued even after sleeping. Kidney cancer causes loss of red blood cells giving you a pale appearance. The intense fatigue interferes with normal operation of the body. The level of concentration goes down and this makes it hard or impossible to carry out tasks.
An imbalanced production of body hormones is on the list of kidney cancer symptoms. Abnormal levels of hormones are produced when renal tumors develop. Calcium levels in the blood surge resulting to increased thirst and constipation. Since kidney cancer leads to anemia, hormones that facilitate production of red blood cells are released in high portions resulting to polycythaemia. Hormonal imbalance could also lead to an increase in blood pressure resulting to hypertension.
Weight loss and fever
Rated among the most common kidney cancer symptoms is weight loss and high fever. Patients experience sudden weight loss even while on a good feeding program. An individual suffering from cancer may also lose desire for food. This will lead to further weight loss. Fever is also common and the patient experiences high temperatures and this is combined with heavy sweating. If you realize that you feel hot and sweat a lot, it is advisable to undergo a medical check up. Apparently, there are several kidney cancer symptoms that one can look out for. Symptoms act as warning signs prompting a medical checkup. Understanding the signs of renal cancer is a life saver. Studies show that above 80% of kidney cancer patients get healed as long as the ailment is detected early.