What you need to know
What is Kidney Cancer?
Kidney cancer, also called renal cancer, is one of the ten most common cancers in both men and women. There are many different types of kidney cancer but the most common is called renal cell carcinoma (RCC), also known as renal cell cancer or renal cell adenocarcinoma. About 9 out of 10 cases of kidney cancer are renal call carcinomas.
There are many possible risk factors for kidney cancer including smoking, obesity, genetic factors, family history, and certain medications such as Phenacetin or Diuretics. Just because you have a risk factor, doesn’t mean you’ll get kidney cancer but it is something to keep in mind if you do have a family history or kidney cancer in addition to other factors.
Kidney Cancer Detection
Many kidney cancers are found fairly early. For people with high risk of developing kidney cancer there are certain tests that can be done. A urine test (urinalysis), which is sometimes part of a complete medical checkup, may find small amounts of blood in the urine of some people with early kidney cancer. However, there are many other reasons that blood could be found in the urine, including urinary tract infections, bladder infections, bladder cancer, and benign (non-cancerous) kidney conditions such as kidney stones.
While early kidney cancers do not usually cause any signs or symptoms, larger ones might. Some possible symptoms of kidney cancer include:
- Blood in the urine (hematuria)
- Low back pain on one side (not caused by injury)
- A mass (lump) on the side or lower back
- Fatigue (tiredness)
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss not caused by dieting
- Fever that is not caused by an infection and that doesn’t go away
- Anemia (low red blood cell counts)
Share with your doctor if any of your family members has or had kidney cancer, especially at a younger age, or if they have been diagnosed with an inherited condition linked to this cancer, such as von Hippel-Lindau disease.
A serious condition, kidney cancer is most often treated with surgery. However, there are a lot of options and treatments for your specific needs. Talk to a doctor at Philadelphia Urology Associates today and we can guide you through this process.
Contact us online or call (215) 563-1199 to schedule an appointment.