Symptoms of Kidney Cancer
Dr. Alex Shteynshlyuger is a is a fellowship Trained Urologist and Robotic Surgeon who specializes in the treatment of men and women with kidney masses and kidney cancer. He specializes in the treatment of men and women with kidney cysts, masses, renal cancer and angiomyolipoma (AML).
Symptoms of Kidney (Renal) Cancer:
Renal cancer can present with a variety of clinical symptoms ranging from flank pain, gross hematuria, and palpable abdominal mass (the classical triad) to unexplained fever.
- Hematuria (presence of blood in the urine) is the most common presenting symptom. It is seen in over 50% of patients with renal cancer but usually is observed only if the tumor has invaded the collecting system. Patients may present with pain if they have clot formation with associated colic. Hematuria was more common before CT scans became available. Currently, few renal cancers present with hematuria; these tend to be larger and in more advanced stages.
- A considerable number of patients with renal cancer present with systemic symptoms such as fever of unknown origin, polycythemia, weight loss, or anemia may occur. Flank pain can also be one of the symptoms. Many renal tumors are found incidentally early in the disease process through a CT done for another reason.
- Anemia is seen in up to 40% of patients and usually is not explained by blood loss. Anemia generally is associated with a low serum iron.
- Erythrocytosis (elevated red blood cells), associated with a hemoglobin >15 g/dL, is seen in almost 5% of patients with renal cancer.
- Abnormal liver function tests have been seen in up to 15% of patients. Elevation of the serum alkaline phosphatase, prothrombin time, α2-globulin, and bilirubin may be noted.
- Hypercalcemia (elevated calcium) is seen in some patients with advanced disease. Medical management may include saline diuresis, furosemide, indomethacin, and a bisphosphonate.
- Amyloidosis (normally soluble proteins become insoluble and are deposited in the extracellular space of various organs or tissues, disrupting normal function) is observed in 3 to 5% of patients, and the amyloidosis itself may be responsible for the renal failure.
- Renin levels often are elevated in patients with renal cancer.
Dr. Alex Shteynshlyuger is a board-certified urologist in NYC. He specializes in the treatment of men and women with kidney cysts, masses, renal cancer and angiomyolipoma (AML).