Some patients experience early signs of kidney cancer, while others start experiencing symptoms when the disease is in its advanced stages.
Another important aspect to keep in mind is that most kidney cancer symptomsare similar to those of other less serious kidney problems. Therefore, it is easy for these symptoms to be ignored; this can, in turn, can lead to a delayed diagnosis. No matter how mild the symptom is, if it lasts for more than two weeks, it should be checked by a doctor for a conclusive diagnosis.
The following are the common kidney cancer symptoms:
The presence of blood in the urine (hematuria) is one of the early signs of kidney cancer. Patients suspected of having kidney cancer often pass urine that is pink, red, or brown in color. It is important to note hematuria could also be one of the benign kidney tumor symptoms.
Those with kidney cancer often experience pain or pressure in the side or back. This pain or discomfort does not go away easily or is often not related to physical activity. This is one of the symptoms of stage 1 kidney cancer. Pain in the abdomen or back could also be one of Wilms tumor symptoms.
A palpable mass or lump on the side or back is one of the most reported kidney cancer symptoms. These lumps are often hard and do not go away. In some cases, it is also one of the symptoms of stage 1 kidney cancer.
Benign kidney tumors or cysts often present themselves with a lump or mass, and this makes the presence of a lump one of the kidney cyst cancer symptoms too.
Some patients may experience swelling in the ankles and legs (peripheral edema) due to fluid retention
High-blood pressure, or hypertension, is one of the most common kidney cancer symptoms. Nonetheless, hypertension is a non-specific symptom that can be caused by a myriad of factors; in some cases, it may also be one of the benign kidney tumor symptoms
Kidney cancer patients often have anemia, which is characterized by a low red blood cell count. This is often one of the commonly ignored renal cancer symptoms.
Persistent fatigue is one of the commonly reported kidney tumor symptoms. Patients often experience a general feeling of tiredness and decreased motivation to do anything. It is also one of Wilms tumor symptoms.
Patients with kidney cancer often lose their appetite, which will gradually lead to unintentional weight loss.
Unexplained weight loss is another symptom of kidney cancer. Those losing weight without any diet or lifestyle changes should see a doctor for a proper evaluation.
Kidney cancer may also cause recurrent fevers that are not related to any infections. This is one of the renal cancer symptoms that is often ignored.
Excessive sweating during sleep is also found to be one of the common kidney tumor symptoms
Rarely, patients with kidney cancer may have swollen lymph nodes in their necks. This symptom could be caused by other types of cancer too, and therefore, it is important to see a doctor for a thorough evaluation.
Kidney failure could be one of the kidney cancer symptoms seen in the advanced stages. It is also one of the symptoms of angiomyolipoma.
Smoking is an important risk factor, and the carcinogens present in tobacco increase kidney cancer risk.
Obesity is one of the possible kidney cancer causes, as it causes inflammation and hormonal imbalances in the body.
Chronic high blood pressure (hypertension) is one of the potential kidney cancer causes.
Previous cancer treatments, especially radiation therapy directed towards the abdomen or pelvis, could also be one of the possible kidney cancer causes.
Certain genetic mutations can cause von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) disease and hereditary papillary renal cell carcinoma (HPRCC) and can predispose individuals to kidney cancer.
Long-term dialysis could also be one of the possible renal cell carcinoma causes, as it leads to inflammation and toxic build-up in the kidneys.
Having a rare genetic condition, Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (TSC), can increase the risk of kidney cancer.
Individuals with VHL have an increased risk of kidney cancer.
Being exposed to chlorinated chemicals like trichloroethylene (TCE) and perchloroethylene (PCE) can serve as one of the potential kidney cancer causes.
Having a positive family history of kidney cancer can increase the risk of this disease. As one of the possible kidney cancer causes, it causes about 4-6% of kidney cancer cases.
Those experiencing persistent symptoms that may indicate kidney cancer should consider seeing a doctor for a proper medical evaluation and prompt medical attention.