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There are 13,300 new kidney cancer cases in the UK every year, which equates to 36 every day. Out of these people, 4,600 die a year (13 every single day), according to Cancer Research UK. Kidney cancer mortality rates have increased by 4 percent in the last decade, normally impacting those living in deprived areas and adults in their 60s and 70s. The good news is that kidney cancer can often be cured if it’s found early, and learning about the signs of kidney cancer is a good place to start. Express.co.uk reveals the top eight signs of kidney cancer.
Kidney cancer develops when abnormal cells in either of your kidneys start to divide and grow in an uncontrolled way.
When this happens, the cells can grow into surrounding tissues or organs and may spread to other areas of the body.
The type of kidney cancer you have depends on which cell the cancer starts in, but the most common type of kidney cancer is renal cell cancer which starts inside the cells lining the smallest tubes in the nephrons.
No one can tell you exactly how long you will live if you get kidney cancer, and a lot of this depends on what stage of kidney cancer you have.
For example, more than 85 percent of people survive for five years or more after they are diagnosed with stage one kidney cancer.
However, if you’re diagnosed with stage four kidney cancer, only around 10 percent of patients live for five or more years.
Therefore, catching your kidney cancer early before it has got bigger or spread is key to your chance of survival.
Unfortunately, most people who are diagnosed with cancer do not have any symptoms.
Kidney cancer is typically diagnosed incidentally when patients are having tests for other things and a scan may show they have kidney cancer.
However, that’s not to say that you won’t have any symptoms at all if you have kidney cancer.
Here are the eight most common signs of kidney cancer, according to the NHS and Cancer Research UK.
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Blood in your wee
If you notice your pee is darker than usual or reddish in colour, you could have kidney cancer.
The term for this is haematuria, and it is the most common symptom of kidney cancer.
According to Cancer Research UK, this could be caused by an infection or enlargement of the prostate or kidney stones, so it’s important to see your GP if you notice any blood in your urine.
The official advice adds: “The blood does not have to be there all the time. It can come and go.
“Sometimes, the blood cannot be seen by the naked eye but can be picked up by a simple urine test.
“As the bleeding can come and go, you or your doctor may think that the problem has gone away.
“This can mean that an early, treatable cancer in the kidney or bladder is allowed to grow to a stage where it may be more difficult to treat.”
Lump or swelling in your side
Although kidney cancer is often too small to feel, you might spot a lump or swelling in your side.
If this is the case, go straight to your doctor and they’ll either feel the lump or arrange for an ultrasound scan to check for cancer.
About 45 percent of people with renal cell cancer have an abdominal mass like this, but sometimes it is too small to feel straight away.
Other more vague symptoms could include:
- weight loss
- a high temperature and very heavy sweating
- a pain in your back on one side (below the ribs) that won’t go away
- loss of appetite
- a general feeling of poor health
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