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What Are the Early Signs of Kidney Cancer?

The signs of kidney cancer, or renal cell cancer, aren’t always obvious. In fact, kidney cancer usually doesn’t produce any noticeable symptoms in its early stages. This condition is often detected during an X-ray or ultrasound that is performed for a separate health concern. Still, there are a few symptoms that may signal a problem with one or both kidneys.

Some of the most common signs of kidney cancer include:

  • Blood in the urine
  • Unexplained pain or pressure in the side or back
  • A lump in your lower back or side
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Severe fatigue

Bloody urine is typically the earliest noticeable sign of kidney cancer. Urine may have a pinkish hue or appear dark red. In men, the development of a varicocele, or a clump of enlarged veins, may appear around a testicle. 

It is important to note that the signs of kidney cancer are shared by many other benign (noncancerous) conditions. If you have one or more of these symptoms, it does not necessarily mean that you have kidney cancer. On the other hand, it is possible to have kidney cancer without any of these symptoms.

I have kidney cancer symptoms – what should I do now?

If you are displaying one or more signs of kidney cancer, be sure to promptly set up an appointment with your physician. Even benign kidney problems like infections and stones require timely medical attention. In the event that cancer is to blame for your symptoms, early detection is key to a positive outcome and improved quality of life.

Moffitt Cancer Center offers a full spectrum of diagnostic tests for kidney cancer and other malignancies that affect the urinary system. Our Urologic Oncology Program includes experts from multiple specialties who focus solely on evaluating and treating kidney cancer, so you can be sure that you are in the best possible hands. Call Moffitt at 1-888-663-3488 or submit a new patient registration form online to schedule an appointment with a physician on our team. We welcome patients with or without referrals.