Screening tests to detect early kidney cancer do not exist, and unfortunately, there are few if any early symptoms of this cancer. Most patients don’t notice any signs until the tumor has grown larger and begins to affect other organs. Consequently, be prepared to recognize the signs you should be tested for kidney cancer.
You have two kidneys located on each side of your back just above the waist. Each of your kidneys works independently, therefore our body can function with only one kidney plus dialysis.
Their purpose is to clean your blood, filter out impurities, remove waste, control blood pressure, create red blood cells, and produce urine.
It is estimated that over 76,000 adults will be diagnosed with kidney cancer in 2021 with almost 50,000 being men.
Other estimated stats include the following:
- The average age for a kidney diagnosis is 64
- The five year survival rate is 75%
- ⅔ of those diagnosed when the cancer is only within the kidney have a 93% survival rate
- If the cancer has spread to surrounding tissue or organs, the five year survival rate drops to 70%
- If the cancer has spread to distant areas of the body, the 5 year survival rate is 13%
Signs You Should Be Tested For Kidney Cancer
Understanding the above statistics and appreciating their purpose should encourage you to pay attention to your kidneys and the signs of kidney cancer. The only way to get a diagnosis is through a blood and urine test plus a biopsy.
They include the following:
- Blood in the urine
- A mass or lump in your side or back
- Swollen ankles and feet
- High blood pressure
- Anemia, or having a low red blood cell count
- No appetite
- Weight loss that is unexplained
- Fever which comes back but not due to any type of infection
- A cluster of enlarged veins especially around a man’s right testicle
Some of these individual symptoms can indicate different medical issues, but they shouldn’t be ignored. Don’t become a statistic.
Contact Siouxland Urology if you notice any of the above signs of kidney cancer.