Kidney Cancer: Symptoms and Treatment
The kidneys are incredibly important for filtering out waste from the body as well as producing red blood cells. Kidneys are crucial for keeping the rest of the body healthy, so if cancer develops within the kidneys you will begin to notice symptoms. It’s important that if you are at risk for renal cancer that you turn to our urologist, Dr. Jonathan Masel, and his team for regular checkups to detect cancer early.
What are the symptoms of kidney cancer?
Like most cancers, symptoms of kidney cancer are often unnoticeable until the tumor has grown. Once the tumor has grown you may notice changes to the way your kidneys function. This includes,
- Pain in the lower back
- A lump or mass in the stomach or lower back
- Unexplained weight loss
- Night sweats
- Ankle swelling
Since there are many conditions that can cause these same symptoms it’s important to turn to a urologist, especially if you are at an increased risk for kidney cancer. If symptoms don’t go away (and last for weeks) then it’s time to schedule an appointment with us.
Am I at risk for kidney cancer?
While anyone can develop kidney cancer it is true that there are certain factors that can increase your risk for kidney cancer over your lifetime. The good news is that some of these factors can be altered through a healthier lifestyle. Some risk factors include,
- High blood pressure
- Exposure to certain chemicals such as trichloroethylene
Some studies have also shown that alcohol consumption and being sedentary (lack of exercise) may also contribute to your chances of developing kidney cancer.
What if I have kidney cancer?
Your urologist will need to run a variety of tests in order to determine if you have cancer. Once our urologist has determined how far the cancer has spread, Dr. Masel will be able to create a treatment plan that fits the stage of your cancer. Common treatment options for kidney cancer include,
- Cryoablation or radiofrequency ablation
- Targeted therapy