What are the Symptoms of Kidney Cancer?
Dr Alok Gupta says, kidney cancer happens when the normal cells present in the kidney change into abnormal cells and grow out of control. Small kidney tumours may not be responsible for causing kidney cancer. But large tumours, as well as the ones which have spread outside the kidneys, can cause:
- Pain on the either side of your lower back, side and stomach
- Lump in the belly or on the side of back
- Excessive weight loss
These symptoms can be caused by conditions that are not cancerous; however, if you have these symptoms, they should be checked immediately by a doctor or nurse.
Is there a test for kidney cancer?
Yes. If any of the symptoms mentioned above occur persistently, your doctor or nurse might recommend for a kidney test. In addition to showing tumours or abnormal growth of cells, these tests create images of your kidneys in different ways:
- CT scan (a type of X-ray)
- MRI (uses magnets to create images)
- Ultrasound (uses sound waves to create images)
Most people find out they have kidney cancer after having an imaging test for an unrelated symptom. For example, people sometimes have a CT scan because they have belly pain and then find out they have a tumour in a kidney.
What is kidney cancer staging?
Cancer staging is a procedure to find out how much has cancer spread. The right treatment for you will depend a lot on the stage of your cancer.
How is kidney cancer treated?
People with kidney cancer are often recommended to have one or both of the following treatments:
Surgery – When cancer is confined to the kidney, it is usually treated with surgery with the goal is remove an entire tumour. This can involve removing all or a part of the affected kidney. The decision about how much to remove depends on the functioning of the other kidney and how big the tumour is. In some cases, surgery can help even if cancer has already spread to other parts of the body.
- Medical treatment – Different medicines can also be used to treat kidney cancer, particularly if a tumour cannot be removed or the tests show that cancer has spread. This includes:
- Targeted therapy – The medicines block certain blood vessels or proteins in your body that can help cancer to grow.
- Immunotherapy –The doctors use medicines that work with the body's infection-fighting system (the "immune system") to stop cancer growth.
What happens if cancer comes back or spreads?
If cancer comes back or spreads, you might have to undergo medical treatment or surgery. Post your treatment; you will be scheduled for continuous follow-ups like X-rays and Lab tests.