Your kidneys are two bean-shaped, barely fist-sized objects that filter enough blood to fill a large bathtub, each day. They are so critical that our bodies have one ‘extra’, even though we can live normally with just one kidney.
Renal cell Adenocarcinoma (or Kidney cancer as its commonly known) is one of the top 10 cancers in the world. Early detection can have positive results for the treatment. If you or a family member notice any of the following symptoms, do not dismiss them as unimportant and visit the doctor immediately.
7 Hidden Signs of Kidney Cancer
Blood in Urine (Hematuria)
The most common symptom and even the slightest tinge of red is a sign there is something not right with the kidney. It might be an infection, but cancer or not, blood in the urine must be immediately investigated.
Abdominal Lump / Mass
Another very common symptom, this can be in the abdominal region (front or back) and feels like a hard, dense bulge under the skin. While it is a common symptom, it does not present itself in the early stages.
Lower Back Pain
While unnatural aches and pains are usually a natural part of ageing, they can at times be early warning signs of kidney cancer. Lower back or side pains can be late-stage symptoms of Kidney Cancer. What may be helpful is to know that the type of pain is not like a typical muscular pain but is more like a sharp stabbing pain which can persist as a dull ache across multiple days.
Loss of Appetite and Sudden Weight Loss
A sudden loss of appetite or abrupt weight loss can be a warning sign of advancing cancer. In the case of renal cancer, this symptom could indicate that cancer has spread to other parts.
Anaemia / Fatigue
Kidneys serve the function of informing the body to produce red blood cells. If a tumour is present, this information is not transmitted, leading to lower production, which leads to anaemia. This can lead to feelings of fatigue. However, cancer fatigue is not normal fatigue. It makes you feel very weak, does not allow you to do simple chores without running out of energy, even after a good night’s sleep. Visit the doctor when you experience this unusual tiredness.
Men might see the sudden appearance of swollen veins in their scrotum (also called Varicocele). This might be caused due to a kidney tumour and can affect the flow of blood to the scrotum.
Fever that is not accompanied by flu symptoms but goes on for a few weeks might be a symptom and you need to get it tested.
When cancer spreads to other parts of the body, additional symptoms crop up like blood in cough, pain in the bones, shortness of breath.