March is National Kidney Cancer Awareness Month
Kidney cancer, also known as renal cancer, is one of the most common cancers in the United States, with more than 79,000 new diagnoses and 13,920 deaths in 2022, according to the National Institutes of Health.
In the early stages of kidney cancer, most people don’t have signs or symptoms. Kidney cancer is usually detected by chance during medical evaluations of unrelated issues. However, as the tumor grows, some symptoms may include blood in the urine, pain in the lower back, a lump in the lower back or side of the waist or unexplained weight loss, night sweats, fever or fatigue .
“Early detection leads to a very high rate of cure. Once detected, surgery provides maximum chance of cure in early-stage disease. Immunotherapy can also play an important role in preventing the cancer from recurring. In advanced stage disease such as stage four kidney cancer, targeted therapy in addition to immunotherapy can be utilized to manage the disease,” says Rezwan Islam, MD, Aspirus Oncologist. “We ensure each∫˜ patient is educated in their options and their concerns are voiced when it comes to making any sort of decision about their future health care.”
Many cases tend to be in those over the age of 45 and occur more often in men than women, but kidney cancer can affect anyone.
Some risk factors for kidney cancer may include family history, long-term exposure to certain harmful chemicals, high blood pressure, smoking, obesity, certain medications, and a history of kidney disease. Talk with your primary care provider with any questions or concerns about your risk factors.
Dr. Rezwan Islam sees patients at Aspirus Cancer Care in Stevens Point, WI. For information about Aspirus cancer services, visit www.aspirus.org/cancercare- blood-disorders. Learn more about kidney cancer from the Kidney Cancer Association.