Kidney Cancer - Symptoms & Causes

What is kidney cancer?

Kidney cancer, also known as renal cancer, is the cancer of the kidneys – the two bean-shaped organs located on each side of the spine, just behind the intestines. Kidneys are responsible for the removal of excess fluid, electrolytes, and waste from the blood.

Different types of cancers can exist in the kidney.

Renal cell carcinoma

Renal cell carcinoma is the most common type of kidney cancer in adults. It starts in the lining of tubules (very small tubes) in the kidneys and starts growing uncontrollably to form a single mass (tumour) within the kidney. More than one tumour can develop in one or both kidneys. This cancer occurs mainly in men aged 50 – 70 years old.

Kidney cancer

What are the symptoms of kidney cancer?

The symptoms of kidney cancer include:

  • Anaemia
  • Back pain
  • Blood in the urine
  • Tiredness
  • Fever
  • Flank pain (pain in upper abdomen, back or sides)
  • Lump on one side of the stomach
  • Weight loss

What causes kidney cancer?

While there are no known causes for kidney cancer, there are some risk factors that may increase the chances of developing kidney cancer.

What are the risk factors for kidney cancer?

These include:

  • Age (between 50 – 70 years old)
  • Gender (men are at a higher risk than women)
  • Race (African, American and Chinese)
  • Smoking
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