Your kidneys are a couple of bean-shaped organs located by the right and left sides of your spine – just directly behind your belly. They’re no more than the size of a fist – say 4-5 inches in length.
The pair of organs function to enable your body to get rid of its waste products and excess liquid through urine. The organs also help to regulate blood pressure. A person can still benefit from the crucial roles played by the two kidneys if one of the organs functions appropriately.
Kidney cancer also goes by the name renal cell carcinoma (RCC). It’s a type of tumor growth that initiates in one kidney and then spreads to the other. Cancer organizations categorize this as the most prevalent type of kidney cancer. Smoking is the most common human behavior said to provoke this type of cancer.
There are other types of kidney cancers. They include transitional cell carcinoma, which accounts for less than ten percent of the common kidney cancers. Doctors diagnose renal sarcoma only among one percent of people with this health condition. Only five percent among little children with the disease has Wilms’ tumor.
The following are symptoms linked to kidney cancer; nonetheless, we aren’t solely associating them with this type of kidney disease. Therefore, see your doctor for an immediate and correct diagnosis.
1. A Lump Around Your Abdomen
Close to 50 percent of people with kidney cancer find a lump around their midsection. It may appear as a protruding mass under the skin area of your abdomen. Moreover, you may perceive the lump as hard and thick.
In the early stages of kidney cancer, you may not discover these lumps because the pair of organs live in the inner part of the abdomen. More so, you may not even notice or sense the growth of the tumor as time passes by.
If you report sighting a growth around your tummy or your doctor incidentally finds the tumor during an abdominal scan, they may require an ultrasound or a CT Scan to examine the cause of kidney cancer. A biopsy is usually necessary to confirm the diagnosis.
Kindly note that every lump doesn’t always result from cancerous growth. Therefore, it’s best to see your doctor for accuracy.
2. Bloody Urine
Blood in the urine, otherwise known as Hematuria, is a common sign of kidney cancer. The symptom is common in nearly half (40-50%) of all the people with kidney cancer. This statistic is according to findings made by the Kidney Cancer Association.
A drop of blood can alter the appearance of urine, causing it to become red, brown, and pink. When the proportion of blood in the urine is minor, only a proper test – Urinalysis, can detect its presence. Furthermore, the color change in the urine isn’t usually a frequent occurrence.
Kidney cancer isn’t the only ailment that causes blood in the urine. Other conditions could be responsible, too, including infection of the kidney or bladder and an injury to the organ or cysts.
3. Pain at the Lower Back
As a result of musculoskeletal injury or disk degeneration, back pain is a common occurrence amongst older adults aging over 40. This symptom isn’t very prevalent among people with kidney cancer. Almost 41% of people with renal cell carcinoma (RCC) admitted to having this symptom. Often, most people with this kidney case don’t feel this symptom until cancer may have degenerated.
The pain may incite a dull or acute pain on the side of your flank or beneath the ribs. The region between your lower back and the end of your ribs is the flank.
The kind of discomfort attributed to kidney cancer may occur differently. Some may report side pain, while others may feel some pressure instead.
Report any other signs to your consultant in the course of your visit. This information will help them distinguish the actual cause of the pain you feel.
4. Feeling of Exhaustion
Fatigue is a common symptom of cancer. More so, the feeling persists during treatment. The vast majority of people with kidney cancer report this situation while undergoing therapy and even conclude that it’s the most problematic symptom to deal with.
As opposed to ordinary fatigue arising from wakefulness and tiredness, which you may resolve by napping, fatigue from cancer lingers instead. The symptom persists with time and also heightens during the disease. Also, cancer-related fatigue halts the everyday pursuits of the people living with the health condition.
5. Persistent Fever
Fever may occur in a person for many other reasons, aside from kidney cancer. However, sudden and persistent fever is one of the symptoms of the health condition.
Low red blood cell is an indication of kidney cancer in at least 20 percent of the people with the illness. The condition may prevent your kidneys from alerting your body to produce red blood cells. It can also intensify the feeling of exhaustion and even cause shortness of breath, lightheadedness, and pasty skin.
7. Sudden Weight Loss
More than one-fourth of people who have kidney cancer experienced weight loss. This symptom occurs very fast as the tumor spreads to different organs of the body. It usually begins with the loss of appetite, which consequently contributes to weight loss.
It’s essential that people with risk factors or family history of kidney cancer, otherwise known as renal cell carcinoma (RCC), get conversant with the symptoms of this disease. Remember, kidney cancer is asymptomatic until later stages. So inform your consultant when you notice any of these symptoms as an early detection would facilitate successful treatment of your condition.
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