Kidney cancer is one of the most aggressive cancers affecting the urinary system. It rarely causes signs or symptoms in its early stages. “Most kidney tumors are discovered incidentally when X-ray or MRI is performed to evaluate an unrelated complaint, and 80% of solid kidney masses are cancer,” says Vincenzo Galati, DO, FACS, urologist at Saint Francis Medical Center.
Signs and symptoms of kidney cancer may include blood in the urine, back pain below the ribs that does not go away, weight loss, intermittent fever, and fatigue. Some of the risk factors for kidney cancer include smoking, family history of kidney cancer, chronic kidney disease, and obesity.
“It is important to realize that with timely diagnosis and treatment, kidney cancer can be cured. The gold standard for treatment of a renal mass is surgery, which can usually be performed with a minimally invasive kidney-sparing approach called a partial nephrectomy. This approach removes the cancer and spares the healthy tissue of the kidney, which leads to better outcomes,” notes Galati.
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