The American Cancer Society estimates that 13,780 Americans will die from kidney cancer this year. To reduce your risk for long-term cancer complications and premature death, you should keep an eye out for common signs of kidney cancer.
Our team at Urology Specialist Group offers comprehensive diagnostic testing for kidney cancer symptoms, so you can get the results you need as soon as possible. Early intervention and treatment of kidney cancer gives you the best chances for recovery and keeps cancer from spreading.
What to know about kidney cancer
Kidney cancer starts in the cells of your kidneys, the organs that filter waste and extra fluids out of your body. When the cells start growing abnormally, they can form lesions and tumors that affect the function of your kidneys.
There are several types of kidney cancer we can diagnose and treat:
Renal cell carcinoma
Renal cell carcinoma is the most common type of kidney cancer. It usually develops as a single tumor in one of your kidneys, but renal cell carcinoma can also cause multiple tumors that affect both kidneys.
Transitional cell carcinomas
Transitional cell carcinomas are less common than renal cell carcinoma. This type of cancer starts in the area of your pelvis where your kidneys connect with the ureters, the tubes that carry urine out of your body.
You can also develop noncancerous (benign) kidney tumors that don’t spread beyond your kidneys but can grow large enough to affect your kidney function.
Risk factors for kidney cancer
There are several factors that can increase your risk for developing kidney cancer. Some of these factors are preventable, while others, such as your gender, aren’t.
Men have a higher risk for kidney cancer than women. People with African American ancestry may also be at higher risk for this type of cancer.
Other risk factors for kidney cancer include:
- High blood pressure
- Exposure to certain toxins
- Use of certain medications including acetaminophen
Your genetic makeup and family history can also increase your risk for kidney cancer. If you have such a history or any of the risk factors for cancer, you should schedule a diagnostic evaluation with our team at Urology Specialist Group.
Symptoms of kidney cancer
Unfortunately, you can have kidney cancer for some time before any symptoms show up. In many cases, the cancer has already progressed by the time you notice changes in your kidney function or symptoms like:
- Back pain
- Blood in the urine
- Loss of appetite
- Unexpected weight loss
- Chronic fatigue
These symptoms can relate to both kidney cancer and other kidney-related diseases, like kidney stones and infections.
As soon as you notice any changes in your urinary habits or develop unusual pain in your pelvic region, our team can perform diagnostic tests in-office to confirm or rule out kidney cancer. We offer blood and urine testing, as well as advanced imaging tests to evaluate how well your kidneys are functioning.
If you have tumors or other abnormal growths on your kidneys, our team offers comprehensive biopsy services to test tissue samples to diagnose cancer. We also customize a plan for you using nonsurgical strategies or minimally invasive robotic surgery to treat the cancer and keep it from spreading.
If you have signs of kidney cancer, schedule a diagnostic evaluation online or call the Urology Specialist Group office nearest to you today.