Kidney cancer occurs when small amounts of cells in these organs begin to change and grow abnormally. The kidneys are located in the torso--one to the immediate left of the backbone, and one to the right. They filter the blood and assist the body in disposing of excess water, salt and waste products, which leave the body in the form of urine. A kidney cancer diagnosis is complicated because the organs sit deep in the body, but there are several tests that can assist the process.
Know When to Get Tested for Kidney Cancer
Things You'll Need
- Internet connection
Tell your doctor immediately if you're experiencing pain in the kidney area, normally felt about the lower back.
Observe symptoms like bloody urine, unexplained weight loss or extreme fatigue.
Examine your torso regularly and report any new masses or lumps in the belly. Swelling in the feet or legs should also be noted.
Take extra precautions with a persistent fever that is not the result of a flu or other illness.
Learn About the Kidney Cancer Diagnosis Process
Request a kidney cancer test if you have any relevant symptoms. Individuals with cancer in their families' medical histories are most susceptible.
Get tested. The most common procedures are called imaging tests and may involve a CT scan, MRI, ultrasound or other similar process.
Submit to other lab tests, such as a urinalysis, blood test or FNA biopsy.
Know that if a mass is found, it isn't necessarily cancerous. A biopsy will be performed to indicate whether it is benign or malignant.
Learn about the latest developments in the kidney cancer diagnosis process by visiting the American Cancer Society Web site (see Resources below).