Kidney cancer, also known as renal cancer, is a disease in which the kidney cells grow abnormally and form a malignant tumor. The American Cancer Society estimates there will be 63,340 new cases of kidney cancer in 2018. While kidney cancer is uncommon in people younger than age 45, it is one of the ten most common cancers affecting U.S. men and women.

Causes of kidney cancer

Though there are many risk factors that increase your chance of developing kidney cancer, the exact way in which these risk factors cause kidney cells to become cancerous remains unclear. The common risk factors for kidney cancer include:

  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • High blood pressure
  • Advanced kidney disease
  • Being a male
  • Being an African American, American Indian or Alaska Native
  • Family history of kidney cancer
  • Genetic or hereditary factors (e.g., vin Hippel-Lindau disease, hereditary papillary renal cell carcinoma, Birt-Hogg-Dube syndrome, Familial renal cancer, Cowden syndrome, Tuberous sclerosis, hereditary renal oncocytoma)
  • Exposure to certain substances (e.g., cadmium, some herbicides and organic solvents, like trichloroethylene)
  • Certain medications (e.g., phenacetin [pain pills] and diuretics [water pills])

Signs and symptoms of kidney cancer

Early kidney cancers do not typically cause any noticeable signs or symptoms, but larger ones might. Here are some possible signs and symptoms of kidney cancer:

  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss not associated with dieting or exercise
  • Persistent fever not associated with illness or infection
  • Anemia (low red blood cell counts)
  • Blood in the urine (hematuria)
  • Lower back pain on one side not associated with injury
  • A mass or lump on the side or lower back

For expert kidney cancer treatment in East Texas, contact HOPE Cancer Center of East Texas at 903.592.6152. Our experienced oncologists are compassionate about your situation and dedicated to providing you the highest quality of care.