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Kidney » Kidney Transplant

Can You Spot These Unusual Symptoms of Kidney Cancer?

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Renal or kidney cancer almost always begins in the lining of tubules and are called renal cell carcinoma. The causes aren’t stark clear.


But, factors like smoking, obesity, high blood pressure, drug abuse, genetic disabilities like Von Hippel-Lindau disease, chemical exposure(asbestos, cadmium, benzene, etc.) increase the chances of developing renal carcinoma.

If one of your kidneys get affected by a disease, your other kidney will take up the duties of waste filtering, urine creation, BP control, RBC manufacture, etc. But, with a cancerous tumor, things change. It can grow and affect both kidneys, putting you at risk for renal failure.

Kidney cancer is curable if caught on early. The question is, would you recognize a sign if your body gave you one? Here are a few symptoms that you should be concerned about if they appear.

About 40-50 percent kidney cancer cases mention experiencing hematuria, i.e., blood in the urine. But, hematuria is a common event that could indicate renal carcinoma, kidney stones, injury to the organ, cysts, or infection.

Also, hematuria could give your urine a pink, brown, or red shade, depending on the amount of blood that has leaked into your urine. If the amount of blood is tiny, you may not detect its presence at all.

The usual feeling of tiredness that you get after a day full of exertions is different from the ever-looming sensation of weakness, lack of energy, and dull mood that you can’t explain.

Cancer-related fatigue interferes with your life. Your daily routine gets smashed. The reason behind your constant tiredness isn’t clear to you. However, it keeps intensifying for no apparent reason. If that is indeed the case, talk to a doctor for you may have anemia, resulting from kidney cancer.

Low RBC count is a common problem in around 21% Renal Cell Carcinoma patients. Since it’s your kidney’s job to waive the flag and alert your body cells to create red blood cells, their functional inefficiency because of cancer could result in lowering RBC count, and hence, anemia.

Kidney lumps are hard to feel with your fingers, especially if you aren’t an experienced medical practitioner in the field. But, keep an eye out for any mass in and around your abdomen that you can feel with your bare fingers.

Around 45% people who have kidney cancer have reported a hard, bumpy mass under their skin. In most cases, these abdominal lumps aren’t cancerous. But, metastasis remains a threat in all cancer cases, making it critical that you get any lump checked out immediately.

Back pain is a prevalent symptom that could mean a lot of things, e.g., musculoskeletal injury. While about 41% people with renal cell carcinoma have reported suffering from lower back discomfort at some point, back pain isn’t often seen as a sign of kidney cancer.

However, if the pain intensifies and shifts from your back to your flank area, below the ribs, it could be related to your kidneys. Look for dull ache, sharp stabbing sensation, persistent feeling of pressure in the mentioned area, talk to a doctor about your suspicions.

Not Every Symptom Means Cancer- but Awareness Is the Key to Early Diagnosis

If you have a family history of kidney cancer, or experience any of the symptoms mentioned above like unexpected weight loss, or are middle-aged or above, it is better to keep an eye out for signs that may help save your life.

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