Symptoms and Diagnosis of Cancer of the Kidney
The kidneys are the two bean shaped organs located behind the abdominal muscles on each side of the spine. Kidney cancer, occurs in these very organs, and is caused by abnormal cell growth. The most frequent form of this cancer occurs as whats called renal cell carcinoma (cancer cells that begin in the tubes of the kidney). Children, however, are more likely to develop a cancer known as Wilm's tumor (a form of cancer often caused by genetic conditions or birth defects).
According to the American Cancer Society, over 50,000 people are diagnosed every year with some form of kidney cancer. Signs and Symptoms: Unlike many other cancers, kidney cancer does not always have obvious or troublesome symptoms in the early stages. However, here are some of the more common signs and symptoms to look for especially towards the later stages of the cancer: - Weight loss - Feelings of energy deprivation or fatigue - Persistent back pain below the ribs - Intermittent or recurrent fevers - Lumps in the kidney area - Loss of appetite Diagnosis and Screening: To begin the diagnosis, a physician will often start by examining the patients medical history and than proceed with a physical exam. Blood and urine samples may also be taken. The doctor may also check for lumps or unusual protrusions in the kidney area. Lastly, a number of tests may be performed to check for cancerous cells: - Abdomen Sonography - This procedure utilizes sound waves, which are bounced off of the kidney to create an image known as a sonogram.
- CT Scan - A CT scan requires the use of an x-ray machine and a computer that takes a series of pictures inside the body from various angles. This method is also known more formally as computerized tomography. - Magnetic Resource Imaging (MRI) - In this procedure a magnet linked with a computer creates detailed images of areas within the body.
After testing, the doctor should be able to diagnose and determine the stage of the cancer. However, additional testing may need to be conducted to determine the severity and growth of the tumor.
Robert is the writer of a website with cancer facts and information. For more information such as kidney cancer facts feel free to visit his website.
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