Four Things You Need to Know About Kidney Cancer

March 1, 2018

March is a busy month for advocates to raise awareness for cancer. In addition to Colorectal Cancer and Multiple Myeloma Awareness Month, it’s also Kidney Cancer Awareness Month.

We’ve compiled a short list of four things you need to know about kidney cancer for information, knowledge, and support.

  1. It’s a common cancer.

According to the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, kidney cancer is among the ten most common cancers in both men and women.

The rate of people diagnosed with kidney cancer has also been increasing since the 1970s, making awareness of the disease critically important.  

  1. There are multiple risk factors.

Gender, race, and age, for example, can affect your odds of being diagnosed with kidney cancer. 

It’s found about twice as often in men as in women. African-Americans also have a slightly higher rate of renal cell cancer, the most common type of kidney cancer.

Older individuals have a higher risk as well. Kidney cancer occurs most often in people over the age of 40.

In addition to these factors, obesity, smoking tobacco, having high blood pressure, and a family history of kidney cancer may also increase your risk of developing kidney cancer.

  1. There are signs and symptoms to be aware of.

Early kidney cancer often does not have symptoms, but there are some indicators you can watch out for if the disease progresses.

Blood in the urine, lower back pain on one side not from an injury, a mass on the side or lower back, tiredness, weight loss, a fever that will not go away after a few weeks, and swelling of the ankles and/or legs are all signs and symptoms that you may have kidney cancer.

If you experience any of these issues, schedule an appointment with your doctor or health care professional.

  1. There is support available if you have been impacted by kidney cancer.

Our living with cancer series contains information to assist you if you are personally affected by kidney cancer. Whether you are newly diagnosed, in treatment, beyond treatment, or a caregiver, you can find a wealth of knowledge for help with our resources.