Observing and diagnosing early kidney cancer symptoms can prove helpful in controlling the condition from becoming severe. In this article let us discuss the early signs of cancer in the kidneys, along with a few methods for treating this health disorder…
Kidneys, a pair of bean-shaped organs, are an important part of the urinary system. The main function of this organ is to produce urine, expelling toxic waste and excess water from the body. The kidneys also produce certain substances which help in maintaining the optimum blood pressure and contribute in the manufacture of red blood cells. Sometimes due to the presence of infections, the kidneys may fall a victim to certain diseases. These excretory organs can also be affected with cancer, due to an abnormal growth of cells.
Kidney cancer (also referred to as renal cell cancer) is caused due to the formation of an unhealthy mass or tumor in the kidneys. This tumor is formed due to the abnormal growth of cells. The tumor can be benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous and can pose a threat to health) in nature. The most common form of cancer, which affects individuals, usually above 40 years of age, is renal cell carcinoma. this disorder can be caused due to various reasons like smoking, high blood pressure, obesity, kidney dialysis (long-term can increase the risk), etc. Poor functioning of the kidneys and exposure to certain carcinogenic chemicals are also known to cause cancer. Genetic factors can also be responsible for triggering this dreaded disease. It has also been observed that the incidence of renal cancer is higher in men as compared to women.
Early Signs and Symptoms of Renal Cell Carcinoma
In some cases, it is a bit tough to detect renal cancer in its early stages, since it does not exhibit any significant evidences. The symptoms surface only after the cancer has become intense.
However, here are a few early signs of kidney cancer, which may help in early detection of this deadly disease.
- The presence of blood clots in the urine, which is known as hematuria. The urine may appear to be pinkish or light orange in color.
- Anemia, due to blood loss
- Pale and patchy skin
- Persistent occurrence of kidney infections, that may take a longer time to heal.
- Dull to severe pain, especially in the lower back region
- Abdominal discomfort, which may radiate towards the back and loins
- Unexplained weight loss
- High blood pressure
- General body weakness and a feeling of poor health
- Intermittent fever and fatigue, accompanied by sweats
- Formation of lumps in the side of the abdomen
- Swelling over the kidneys
- Constipation, excessive thirst due to a rise in blood calcium levels
- Polycythemia, a condition where the mass of red blood cells increase
Treating Kidney Cancer
Early diagnosis and timely treatment will reduce the risk of the condition from becoming severe. Before administering treatment, the doctor may conduct some diagnostic tests like blood and urine tests, MRI and CT scan, and a biopsy of the affected kidney. Once the diagnosis is done, the doctor may determine the stage at which the cancer is present. There are four stages of cancer, categorized according to the severity of the condition. In the initial stages, the doctor may prescribe certain medications and drugs to dissolve the tumor and relieve the pain caused due to it. In case the cancer has progressed, the patient may have to undergo surgery to remove the tumor or nephrectomy, where the affected kidney is removed. The cancer prognosis may depend on the overall health condition of the patient, the severity of the symptoms and how well the patient responds to the treatment.
Early detection of kidney cancer can be done by observing the initial signs of this disease. This will help curb the disease from spreading and affecting other organs. Remember cancer is life-threatening and can prove fatal, but with the help of latest treatment methods, the life expectancy of the patient can be increased. Take care!