"Three conditions make up the "classic triad" of kidney cancer. Hematuria is the most common. Hematuria is the presence of blood in the urine. Often, the blood can be seen with the naked eye (a condition called gross hematuria). Blood may also be present in microscopic amounts, detectable only by urinalysis. Hematuria occurs in sixty percent of patients.
Pain is a symptom in forty percent of cases. The pain is felt in the lower back, just below the ribs, and is constant. Finally, in thirty to forty percent of cases, a palpable mass may be detected during a routine physical examination of the kidneys.
Although the combination of hematuria, pain and a palpable mass is referred to as the classic triad, in reality only ten percent of patients present with all three conditions. The presence of the classic triad usually indicates a well advanced tumor.
Other symptoms of renal cell carcinoma often appear when the disease is more advanced, but no single individual experiences all possible RCC symptoms. Anemia, or a lack of red blood cells, may occur. Weight loss, fatigue, fevers and night sweats are also common. Men may experience varicocele: varicose veins that affect the testes.
RCC may lead to paraneoplastic syndromes. Paraneoplastic complications are hormonal conditions caused by the effects of the tumor on the body. Possible paraneoplastic complications include hypertension (high blood pressure), hypercalcemia and polycythemia.
Some RCC tumors produce excessive amounts of erythropoietin, a hormone that stimulates the production of red blood cells. Excessive amounts of erythropoietin lead to polycythemia, an overabundance of red blood cells. Polycythemia may cause headaches, dizziness, vein inflammation, breathing difficulties, itchiness, and a feeling of abdominal fullness. Patients may also experience unusual redness of the skin, especially in facial skin.
RCC tumors can also produce parathyroid hormone, a hormone usually produced by the parathyroid gland. Too much parathyroid hormone production can lead to hypercalcemia, an excessive amount of calcium in the blood. Hypercalcemia may present asymptomatically. If symptoms do occur, they can include the following:
a lack of appetite
Other causes of blood in the urine include kidney infections, kidney stones, and bladder cancer.
Has he had any blood tests done? If yes, was there any other sign, such as anemia or elevated ESR?
If his renal function is failing you need to take him to a center where he can receive the attention of a nephrologist and an oncologist, if it turns out to be cancer ( and I'm sorry to say it seems that way).
Do write in with any doubts you have.
Well yesterday the specialist wanted once again more tests. They have asked him to stay in London and they are trying to get another MRI with better imaging by Thursday with instant results. They are thinking they are going to take part of his lower left kidney. My question now is why would his kidneys be failing, is it because of the hormones being produced in the tumor? From what I have read the most common places for kidney cancer to spread is in the bladder, prostate and stomach all of which have been looked at and have been determined to be ok. Once the tumor is removed do people find that their kidney function returns to almost normal or will dialysis be needed. If the tumor is cancer is kemo a general practice. I have read that usually once all of of fathers symptoms are present the prognosis is not very good but is that because usually the cancer has spread?
His blood tests did indicate that his ESR was almost double the normal amount and the doctor that he is seeing in London is a nephrologist. I have just spoke with them and they are saying their is a small bulge in the bottom of his kidney and they are not sure if their is a tumor in it or if it is just veins that need to closed (sorry I forget them term they used) but they said that is very rare. After the scope the doctor said that he could not see any sign of a tumor IN the kidney and the first can scan and the MRI suggested the mass was on the outside of the kidney. Is this type of kidney cancer that rare and so is that why the doctors are having such a hard time with it?
Thank-You So Much For Your Help!!!! It Truly Is Appreciated
Well he had another Ultrasound today and it had been confirmed that he does have cancer and that they are planning on removing the lower portion of his left kidney. The surgery is not booked until July 18th, 2008.