Because early diagnosis is so critical to improving survival rates, those at risk for the disease need to be able to recognize kidney cancer symptoms. If you’re curious about whether you’re at risk for this cancer and any potential signs or symptoms you should watch out for, keep reading.

Symptoms

Bloody Urine: Bloody urine is a common sign of kidney cancer. However, like many kidney cancer symptoms, it can also be associated with bladder cancer and other bladder-related ailments.

Back Pain: Many people diagnosed with kidney cancer experience low back pain that isn’t associated with an injury or other physical ailment.

Lump or Bump: In many kidney cancer cases, a mass or lump can be felt in the stomach.

General Fatigue: Though fatigue is not a specific symptom, meaning it’s often found in other diseases and cancer, it’s a common symptom of kidney cancer that can help doctors make a diagnosis.

Loss of Appetite: Unintentional weight loss that happens quickly can be a symptom of kidney cancer. Many patients lose their appetites, have trouble eating and digesting, and tend to lose weight quickly.

Fever: Frequent fevers that aren’t connected to some other infection, flu or cold are often associated with kidney cancer.

Swelling: Edema, also known as swelling in the lower legs is a typical kidney cancer symptom most apparent in women.

Higher Blood Pressure: Like many of the other symptoms listed above, high blood pressure can be attributed to numerous other diseases. However, if discovered alongside other symptoms, it can often be a good indicator for the disease.

Risk Factors for Kidney Cancer

Smoking: Approximately one-third of all cases of renal cell carcinoma (the most common form of kidney cancer) in men and one-quarter of cases in women are likely caused by smoking.

Analgesic Medication: Addictions to painkillers that contain phenactin, which is no longer approved in the United States, can dramatically increase a person’s risk for kidney cancer.

Exposure at the Work Place: Workers who are exposed to products like organic solvents, petroleum by-products, camium and asbestos all have an increased risk for developing kidney cancer.

Genetic Disorders: Genetic disorders of the kidney, such as tuberous sclerosis, von Hippel-Lindau disease or a heavy family history of the disease can all increase a person’s risk for developing kidney cancer.

Obesity: People who are obese or very overweight are more at risk for developing renal cell kidney cancer than those who maintain a healthy body weight.

Kidney Failure: People with a history of kidney failures may develop cysts in their kidneys as a result. These cysts can expedite the development of kidney cancer.

Advancing Age: Typically, renal cell carcinoma only develops in adults over the age of fifty and under seventy.

Male or Female: Men are twice more likely to develop kidney cancer, like renal cell carcinoma, than women.

If you have or have been exposed to any of the above risk factors for kidney cancer, it’s critical that you be aware of kidney cancer symptoms. Should you experience any of the listed symptoms, be sure to talk to your doctor without delay.