Every year, nearly 75,000 new cases of kidney cancer are diagnosed, and about 15,000 Americans die of the disease.
Kidney cancer doesn’t usually cause symptoms in its early stages. However, as the disease progresses, you might notice symptoms such as:
Hematuria (blood in urine)
Chronic pain in your back or side
Loss of appetite
Unintended weight loss
If you notice any of these symptoms, especially blood in your urine, it’s important to make an appointment with a Urology Associates physician. Early diagnosis is often critical to successful treatment for kidney cancer and other diseases of your kidneys and urinary tract.
While medical researchers haven’t identified a specific cause of kidney cancer, some common risk factors include:
Having high blood pressure
Having a family history of kidney cancer
Your risk of kidney cancer is also higher if you have other health conditions like von Hippel-Lindau disease or Birt-Hogg-Dubé syndrome.
Your urologist begins by reviewing your symptoms, medical history, and lifestyle. They perform a physical exam and order blood tests and urinalysis. If they suspect that you have kidney cancer, they order imaging tests like CT scans or an MRI to look for abnormal growths or tissue on your kidneys.
If your imaging studies show abnormal tissue, your doctor orders a biopsy to see if the abnormal growth is cancerous. A biopsy can also help your doctor identify the stage of cancer.
If you have kidney cancer, your doctor reviews your treatment options. In many cases, they recommend surgery to remove the tumor or your kidney. Your body can continue to clean your blood with one kidney.
However, depending on the grade and stage of your cancer, your doctor might also suggest treatments like cryoablation or radiofrequency ablation to destroy the cancer cells.
You might also benefit from immunotherapy, chemotherapy, radiation, or target treatments like medication that stops the signals that trigger abnormal cell growth.
You continue to have follow-up appointments and testing after your treatment. Your doctor needs to ensure your treatment is effective and monitor you for signs of recurring cancer.
If you’re concerned about kidney cancer or have blood in your urine, never hesitate to call us. To receive the highest quality of treatment for kidney cancer, schedule an appointment today.
If you have further questions or are experiencing symptoms of a urologic condition, call us or schedule an appointment today.