Saturday, September 3, 2011

Kidney Cancer Symptoms

Being aware of Kidney Cancer Symptoms is very important, as it can help a person get treatment before the disease gets worse. Anybody who has any experience with cancer, whether they have had it or know someone who has dealt with it, knows just how serious and devastating it can be. That's why it's important to make an appointment with a doctor whenever any symptoms of cancer present themselves. If the disease can be caught early, the patient has a much better chance of survival and may not have to go through drastic treatment options.

How Kidney Cancer Starts
Kidney Cancer is the result of kidney cells becoming cancerous and rapidly growing out of control, forming a tumor, or in some cases multiple tumors. Doctors are not yet sure what causes kidney cancer, though some risk factors of the disease have been identified. Most kidney cancers start in the lining of the small tubes in the kidneys, and there are few symptoms of the disease at this stage. Despite the lack of symptoms at the earliest stage, most cases are discovered before the disease spreads to the surrounding organs.

Common Kidney Cancer Symptoms
Just like most diseases, one or two symptoms alone may not be indicative of kidney cancer or cause for alarm, though they should still be checked out. However if the patient notices several of the symptoms, particularly if they persist over time, it is best to call a doctor. Kidney Cancer Symptoms include: Blood in the urine (this may appear as a red or pink color), a lump or pain in the side or abdomen, seemingly random weight loss or fever. These are the most common Kidney Cancer Symptoms. Occasionally other symptoms can appear alongside the most common indicators. These additional symptoms include: Fatigue, a general feeling of poor health, loss of appetite, anemia and swelling in the ankles or legs. Sometimes Kidney Cancer will spread, whether it's being treated or not, and when this is the case, additional symptoms can be noticed. Symptoms that this has happened are shortness of breath, coughing up blood, and even bone pain. If the patient notices any of these, please contact a doctor immediately. Sometimes a change in treatment or medication may be needed.

What Happens After Kidney Cancer Symptoms are Noticed
The doctor will likely perform one or more tests to determine if the patient has kidney cancer or something else, like kidney stones. He or she may order a urine test or blood test to check for problems and see how well the kidneys are functioning. An ultrasound may also be used to determine if a tumor, if one is present, is filled with fluid or is a solid mass. CT scans and MRIs are often used to take pictures of the kidneys. A procedure called Intravenous Pyelogram (IVP) can be used to determine the presence of tumors as well. In this procedure, a dye is inserted and travels through the urinary tract, while the kidneys are being X-rayed. This allows any tumors to be highlighted. CT scans have largely replaced the need for the IVP procedure.

Though the symptoms listed above can be signs of kidney cancer, they may indicate some other problem, instead of cancer. One or two symptoms alone is not cause for panic, though it certainly should be brought to a doctor's attention. For a diagnosis, contact a doctor as quickly as possible. If the symptoms noticed are indeed Kidney Cancer Symptoms, it is important to begin treatment quickly to kill the cancer and remove any tumors before it spreads and becomes more severe.
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