Kidney cancer originates in the kidneys, the bean-shaped organs located on opposite sides of your spine. Many kidney cancers are detected during procedures for other diseases or condition because signs and symptoms typically do not show up in the earlier stages of kidney cancer.
Kidney cancer is typically symptom free in its earlier stages. However, symptoms in the later stages can include several warning signs.
Symptoms of Kidney Cancer
- Back pain
- Blood in the urine
- Swelling of the legs
- Lump in the abdomen
- Rapid, unexplained weight loss
Kidney cancer is diagnosed through a series of tests such as blood, urine, imaging, ultrasound and biopsy. Biopsy is generally avoided when possible, since the first line of defense against kidney cancer is removal surgery. Additional CT scans may be required post diagnosis in order to determine what stage your cancer is in.
Stages of Kidney Cancer
During stage one, the tumor remains confided to the kidney.
During stage two, the tumor has grown larger than in stage one, but it still has not spread beyond the kidney.
During stage three, the cancer has expanded beyond the kidney and invaded the surrounding tissues, glands or lymph nodes.
During stage four, cancer cells have spread far beyond the kidneys and have invaded the lymph nodes and other vital organs, such as the liver, the brain, the lungs, etc.
Your treatment options will be determined on an individual basis, depending on what stage your cancer is in when it is detected. Procedures available to you may also be determined by other factors, such as your overall health.
- Cancer removal surgery
- Removal of affected kidney
- Treatment to freeze cancer cells
- Radiofrequency ablation