Kidney cancer, medically called Renal Cell Carcinoma (RCC) first becomes noticeable in urine or lower-back. Kidney cancer is one of the ten most common “equal-gender” cancers meaning it is found in both men and women alike. This form of cancer can even lead to uncomfortable symptoms in some very sensitive regions of your body, like your genitals.
While kidney cancer is usually found in people over 60 years of age, it’s never too early to check for symptoms. It is subtle but traceable.
Here are ten most common symptoms of kidney cancer that can give you a head start on defeating the disease. And if you are showing ANY of the following symptoms, consult your doctor immediately, do not leave anything to chance.
Read these symptoms carefully, they could save your life.
10. Lower back pain
Lower back pain is very common and often non-threatening. Sometimes we sleep in the wrong position and wake up with a back pain. Sporting injuries, driving non-stop for hours, standing up continuously for longer periods of time – all of this can cause back pains.
In addition to that, almost 30% of 40+ years old people complain of back pains. But the question is if back pain is such a ‘run of the mill’, how do we associate it to a cancer symptom?
It is simple, if the back pain is due to simple muscle degeneration you will know, it is a gradual process that often comes with age – so no worries there. But if the pain starts shooting up out of nowhere then you should get it checked.
More than 40% of people diagnosed with RCC complain of back pains. They differ in intensity and duration. Some people claim they have shooting pains that disappear after a while and keep reappearing. While others say that have a slight but constant pain in their lower back.
9. Lump around abdominal region
A lump in the abdomen, side or back is a serious sign of kidney cancer. This lump can be a stiff bulge under the skin that will most definitely hurt if you press it. Sometimes the lump in the kidney cannot be felt severely because kidneys are “buried” deep in the abdomen. In Some cases, you feel pain and just some skin irritation no physical evidence of a bump.
If you tell your doctor about abdominal pains, he will order a CT scan and other tests. These tests will clear out the situation. Your doctor will know if it is a cancerous tumor, and the sooner it is discovered, the better.
An important thing to remember is that not all tumors or lumps are cancerous. But they still need to be treated all the same.
Anemia is a condition that is characterized by a lack of hemoglobin – or more commonly known as red blood cells – in the blood. Whenever you are battling a disease and are low on red blood cells count, your kidney indicates your body to start producing them. However, a tumor in kidney affects this process.
The effects of red blood cells mean a constant feeling of lethargy. You’d feel tired while doing the most basic tasks such as cleaning the room, your skin will start to look pale and you’d feel unusually week.
Anemia is caused by many other serious diseases such as HIV/AIDS, rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease and Dengue Fever – it is a condition that shouldn’t be taken lightly.
Needless to say, if you are showing any of the symptoms rush to the doctor!
7. Sudden weight loss
Weight becomes a problem for most people around the time they turn 25. You suddenly start to feel fat, clothes don’t fit, cheeks fill up – and an endless battle between your heart and mind begins to lose weight.
People who do successfully lose weight is due to exercising and diet control. However if you start losing weight – and in great quantities – for no reason at all, you are in trouble! Cancer patients often lose few KGs in a matter of days. More than 27% people diagnosed with kidney cancer report weight loss.
Why does weight loss occur? – You don’t feel like eating, the cancer is spreading to other organs and your immune system is slowly dying. Your muscles and tissues are degenerating causing you to lose weight.
6. Puffed-up ankles and feet
Swollen ankles and feet are normally associated with pregnant women. They are seen as a sign of a new life, but swollen ankles are a symptom of something oppositely sinister too. Any kidney disease including kidney cancer can cause your feet and ankles to puff-up.
A cancerous tumor in Kidney can cause it to function improperly. When kidneys are not functioning properly, as a result, a fluid can build up in the body. This fluid settles in the feet. This process causes the feet to swell up. A patient particularly feels weak in the ankles. Walking starts to feel like a difficult task.
5. High blood pressure
As the heart pumps blood out. The blood flows through blood vessels at great speeds. This is called blood pressure. High blood pressure, medically called hypertension, is caused when blood starts to flow extravagantly through blood vessels.
Cancer or not, high blood pressure is particularly dangerous for kidneys. In the United States, high blood pressure is the second largest cause of kidney failure after diabetes. When talking about kidney cancer, it almost certainly affects blood pressure. When kidneys are weakening due to a tumor, as a defense mechanism, our body starts pumping blood more jealously. This is dangerous for the overall vascular system.
It won’t be on our list if it weren’t serious, so don’t take any chances.
4. Loss of hunger
When a tumor starts to spread and starts affecting your kidney, your overall immune system is weakened. Kidneys are an integral part of human body. While you only need one kidney to survive, one bad kidney can take its toll on the human body. When body grows weaker, we don’t feel the need to eat.
Loss of hunger is particularly attributed to cancer. The normal advice doctors give is to force yourself to eat. Take proteins and rich diets. The metabolism of your body will help you regain strength to fight any disease.
Remember, you cannot win a battle on empty stomach – whether it is a physical battle or cancer battle.
3. An ongoing fever
26% of kidney cancer patients say they are struck with an ongoing recurrent fever that most certainly is not from cold or flu. Normally this fever isn’t too high, it is just persistent and wouldn’t go away. Fever occurs when your body is battling with bacteria or viral infections. Your body assumes that its temperature is lowering and thus to maintain its temperature a fever occurs.
When a patient is suffering from kidney cancer, his or her fever might stay for longer periods of time. If you or anyone you know has the symptom of ongoing fever that doesn’t go away for days, you should immediately get yourself checked.
2. Enlarged veins around testicles
If you are a guy reading this post, the next entry will terrify you. In some cases of kidney cancer, a male patient suffers from varicocele. A varicocele occurs when veins become bigger inside your scrotum (the bag-like skin hanging that holds your testicles). This process is severely painful and eerily ugly. Imagine a vein-like pattern bulging on your testicles – that’d look awful.
Varicocele also causes one or both testicles to shrink. People suffering from varicocele are often unable to have kids.
Since kidneys are connected to the overall urinary process, any malfunction in them causes an instant effect on testicles and everything related to pee.
1. Blood in the urine
When you pee and blood comes out it with; you are in a lot of trouble. It is medically called hematuria, blood in urine is the most common and obvious system of kidney cancer. According to doctors, more than 50% of kidney cancer patients suffer from blood in the urine. The amount of blood can vary on days. Its quantity and color can also be dissimilar on different days. But you can easily detect even a drop of blood in your urine since it enough to cause discoloration.
Blood in the urine can also be caused by any kidney infection but it is ALWAYS serious. So if you detect even a hint of blood in your penis, run! Run to the doctor now!