Recognizing Signs of Kidney Cancer

Kidney cancer symptoms vary from person to person. The signs may include one or more of the following:

  • Blood in the urine. Hematuria, or blood in the urine is one of the most common signs of kidney cancer. It can be caused by other tumors such as bladder cancer or prostate cancer tumors. It can also be caused by benign (noncancerous) conditions, such as kidney stones and infections. You may be able to see the blood easily in your urine, or the existence of blood cells may be revealed in urine test laboratory results.
  • Recurring fever. This common kidney cancer symptom can occur as a result of a tumor causing an infection and releasing pyrogens, which are substances that can produce a fever.
  • Loss of appetite. This possible sign of kidney cancer may occur as the result of changes in hormones due to cancer, or due to a tumor spreading to the gastrointestinal (GI) tract which may produce a false feeling of fullness.
  • Frequent tiredness or fatigue. While chronic fatigue alone would not suggest cancer, it is a common side effect. This kidney cancer symptom is usually caused by a shortage of red blood cells in a condition known as anemia. The lowered levels of red blood cells reduce the oxygen flow to the body’s organs, which in turn creates a feeling of lower energy. Anemia can be caused by almost all cancer types, as well as by many other diseases and conditions.
  • Rapid or unexplained weight loss. Significant or rapid weight loss that occurs for no known reason can be one of the signs of kidney cancer.
  • Persistent lower back and side pain. Consistent side and back pains unrelated to a prior injury can also be potential signs of kidney cancer. Generally experienced on one side only, this pain is caused by the tumor growing and pushing against nearby organs.
  • Lump in the kidney area. Your kidneys are located on either side of your back, near the sides of the torso. If you have not sustained an injury and have a lump in this area, it may indicate the presence of a benign or malignant tumor. This kidney cancer symptom may have no sensation or feel painful to the touch.
  • The sensation of a bowel obstruction. Although uncommon, some kidney cancer patients report the sensation of a bowel blockage or obstruction. This kidney cancer symptom can occur as a result of the overgrowth of cells spreading to the intestinal region.

Kidney Cancer Symptoms and the Importance of Early Detection

It is not uncommon for a person to be asymptomatic for kidney cancer until the later stages of the disease. Some signs of kidney cancer could be indicative of another issue, such as a urinary tract infection (UTI) or another condition.

If you have concerns or are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, it is important to schedule an appointment with your doctor. Share your symptoms as well as your medical history. Depending on the findings, you may be referred to a specialist who may perform additional screenings to identify any areas of concern and make an official diagnosis.

Leading Kidney Cancer Care in New Jersey

Kidney cancer care at RWJBarnabas Health is led by highly knowledgeable surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists and urologists, as well as advanced practice nurses and certified technicians who provide superior kidney cancer care.

Equipped with the latest screening equipment and technologies, we can identify the first signs of kidney cancer and help our patients manage symptoms.

With our breadth of experience, expansive resources and access to leading-edge clinical trials, our hospitals and facilities surpass cancer care standards.

To schedule an appointment with one of New Jersey’s best kidney cancer specialists, call 844-CANCERNJ or 844-226-2376.

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