In the first stages of kidney cancer, no symptoms may manifest, according to WebMD. As the condition progresses, several symptoms may appear, including appetite loss, persistent pain, an abdominal lump, bloody urine, long-lasting fever, severe tiredness, unexplained weight loss, ankle or leg swelling and anemia. In the later stages after the cancer has spread, symptoms include pain in the bones, coughing up blood and trouble breathing.
Also known as renal cancer, kidney cancer happens when cells in the kidney start to reproduce uncontrollably, becoming malignant, says WebMD. When this occurs, a tumor is the result. Most often this type of cancer is diagnosed before it spreads.
There are a number of associated risk factors, including family history of kidney cancer, specific genetic conditions, obesity, high blood pressure, the long-term use of specific pain medicine and smoking. Being male also increases the chance of getting this cancer, as does being black. People with later-stage kidney disease and those who have been on dialysis for a long time are also at risk, as are those with lymphoma. Chemical exposure, specifically to cadmium, organic solvents, benzene or asbestos, also increases the chance of getting kidney cancer.
Many treatments are available for renal cancer, including surgery, cyotherapy, radio frequency ablation, arterial embolation, biologic therapy, chemotherapy and radiation therapy.