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Kidney Cancer

Kidney cancer, which most often occurs in men 50 to 70 years old, rarely produces symptoms in its early stages. Eventually, though, a tumor in one of the kidneys may trigger one or more of the following:

Patient Story: Stewart Brown

  • blood in the urine (most common symptom)
  • persistent pain in the back, just below the ribs
  • a lump in the abdomen
  • general symptoms such as persistent fatigue, unexplained weight loss, recurrent fevers, high blood pressure, swelling in the ankles

Being aware of these signs can help patients catch their condition and begin treatment as soon as possible.

Options for treating kidney cancer include surgery to remove the kidney, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, hormone therapy, and biological or immunotherapy. Sometimes, when the disease is tightly confined, treatment may involve removing only the affected portion of the kidney. This procedure is called a partial nephrectomy or nephron-sparing surgery and can help preserve the function of the involved kidney.

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This article appears in the Health Extra Newsletter (now Children's Health Essentials).

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This information is provided by the Cleveland Clinic and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or health care provider. Please consult your health care provider for advice about a specific medical condition. This document was last reviewed on: 11/1/2007