Kidney cancer is a common cancer in both women and men, and most patients are over 60 years old. Almost all of the kidney cancer appears first in the lining of the tiny tubes in the kidney, and this type is also named as Renal Cell Carcinoma RCC. Fortunately, most of the kidney cancer could be found before spreading to the distant organs. In general, the cancer found early is easier to be treated successfully.
The following are the 5 early signs and symptoms of kidney cancer:
1. Blood in the urine
Blood in the urine, called Hematuria, is probably the most common sign, which appears in 40 to 50% of the patients with kidney cancer, by the Kidney Cancer Association. The colors of the urine could range from pink, brownish, to red. Also, the presence of the blood in the urine could be inconsistent, appearing probably every other day. Sometimes when the amount of blood in the urine is small, it could be detected only during a urinalysis. Whenever you find blood in the urine, always see a doctor.
2. Pain in the lower back
Back pain is quite common in the ones over 40 years old, which is usually because of the disk degeneration or musculoskeletal injury. However, pain in the lower back is also a common sign of kidney cancer. Around 41% of the patients with RCC were reported with the pain in the lower back. The pain could range from the dull ache to the sharp stab on the one side of your back below the ribs. If you suffer any sudden back pain lasting over a few days, always see a doctor.
3. A lump around the abdomen
A lump or mass on the side or lower back could be the sign of kidney cancer as well, which could be like a hard, bulging, or thickening bump under the skin. Around 45% of the patients with RCC were reported with an abdominal mass. However, kidney lumps are not easy to be felt, particularly in the early stages of the cancer as kidneys sit deep in your abdomen. Although not all the lumps are cancer, always see a doctor if you find a lump around the abdomen.
4. Fatigue and anemia
Fatigue is the most common symptom in any kind of cancer. Fatigue from cancer is very different from just feeling tired due to lack of sleep. Fatigue from cancer is persistent and it could interfere with your daily activities. Also, it could become intensified as the time goes on. In addition, around 21% of the patients with kidney cancer suffer anemia, or low count of red blood cells, as the kidneys normally signal your body to create red blood cells. Anemia could also worsen the fatigue. If you feel unusually tired, always see your doctor for a checkup.
5. Unexpected weight loss and fever
Around 28 % of the patients with kidney cancer were reported with weight loss, which usually happens fast as the cancer spreads to the other organs. Also, the patients could lose appetite, which could contribute to the weight loss. Unexplained and recurring fevers could be a sign of kidney cancer as well. If you have any of these signs, make an appointment with your doctor.