It is possible to diagnose kidney cancer in its early stage. An early diagnosis can help the patient get proper and timely treatment to help them be free from the dangers of the cancer. Most cases of kidney cancer are diagnosed in the early stages; however, in some cases, the cancer is diagnosed in its advanced stage making it almost impossible to cure. There are several reasons for the delay in diagnosing kidney cancer and these have been mentioned below:
- Sometimes kidney cancers grow without showing any signs and symptoms or causing any pain
- Since kidneys are located deep inside the body, it becomes difficult to see or feel any pain at the time of a physical examination
- People who are not at an increased risk of kidney cancer are not recommended to get any precautionary screening tests done for kidney cancer
A body can function with only one kidney; however, when there is a tumor, both kidneys’ functions can get disrupted. Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is one of the most common types of kidney cancer found in adults. This cancer is mainly diagnosed in people aged over 60.
The symptoms of kidney cancer usually include blood in the urine or pain in the lower back. Most symptoms of kidney cancer are linked with the function of the kidney and tumor growth. Kidneys are among the most essential organs that help with several functions that include filtering waste from the blood, controlling blood pressure, helping in creating urine, and helping in creating red blood cells.
There are several early warning signs of kidney cancer that, when noticed, should be reported immediately. Below are some warning signs that shouldn’t be missed.
Blood spotting in the urine
The condition of blood in the urine is called hematuria. It is one of the most common symptoms of kidney cancer. Almost 50 percent of people with kidney cancer notice blood in their urine. When there is a small amount of blood in the urine, it can cause the color of the urine to turn pink or brownish.
Pain in lower back
In most people who are over 40, back pain or lower back pain is common. The main cause of back pain in people is disk degeneration or musculoskeletal injury. When it comes to kidney cancer, lower back pain is one of the signs; however, not many experience it until the cancer reaches its later stages. Around 40 percent of people with kidney cancer report pain in the lower back. This pain in the lower back varies from one person to another; hence, any type of unexplained lower back pain should be immediately reported to the doctor.
Fatigue is one of the early warning signs for many diseases and illnesses including kidney cancer. More than 70 percent of patients with kidney cancer claim that they experience fatigue. Fatigue due to cancer is different from a normal fatigue. Fatigue caused as a sign of cancer is more persistent and doesn’t allow a person to conduct daily activities and chores. Medical attention should be given in case anyone feels this type of fatigue.
Unexplained weight loss
Almost 30 percent of people who have kidney cancer report experiencing weight loss. As the cancer starts spreading to other organs, people start losing interest in eating, which results in sudden weight loss. Along with the weight loss, people also suffer from recurring bouts of fever that is caused due to an infection. Any such signs when noticed can be considered as signs of kidney cancer.