Kidney cancer that has become advanced is more difficult to treat. Advanced means the cancer has spread away from the original site (kidney) to another part of the body. Therefore the treatment is necessary before it spreads and causes a secondary cancer growth. A challenging question, does it grow and spread fast? The answer varies from case to case. But there are several variables we can use to help analyze how aggressive it will be.
Unfortunately, it often doesn’t cause symptom in the early stages. Patients are likely to notice the symptoms when it has become advanced. Therefore, it’s not always easy to catch it early, when it is most treatable or may be curable. The common symptoms include:
- Urine containing blood (haematuria). The cancer may cause bleeding that changes the color of the urine to become reddish or dark brown.
- Pain that is difficult to improve (persistent), typically in the flank area (side, below the ribs).
The cancer may also cause swelling or lump that can be noticed in the flank area (where the kidneys are located). Other less common symptoms, which can be vogue include:
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- Fatigue (extreme tiredness).
- Anemia (lack of red blood cells or hemoglobin).
- Unexplained weight changes, especially such as unplanned weight loss.
- High fever (100.4F / 38C or above).
- Nocturnal hyperhidrosis (night sweats).
- General sick feeling.
- High blood pressure (hypertension). Kidneys play a key role to help control your blood pressure. If there something goes awry with them, you can have hypertension. In fact, hypertension is a common consequence and a common cause of kidney disease.
- Decreased appetite.
Interestingly, the prognosis and life expectancy for patients with this cancer is pretty good (see more in this section). About a half of patients with kidney cancer are successfully to cope with the condition and survive at least 10 years after diagnosis. Even some are cured and die from causes other than their cancer.
And the good news, it seems that the survival rate is increasing from year to year. The improvement of the treatment and increased number of patients diagnosed at early stages may be the reasons.
Does it mean that this cancer spread slowly? Again each case is unique. But in general, it seems that the condition is often successfully treated and controlled.
It’s difficult to exactly figure out of how the cancer will behave. But there are some factors that have an effect. One of them is the cancer grade. Greater score of cancer grade means the cancer is more likely to become aggressive and easier to spread.
Another factor is the type of cancer. There are a number of different kidney cancer types. Some types are likely to become more aggressive and spread faster than others. For instance; sarcomatoid type of kidney cancer is more difficult to treat and has a worse prognosis, because it is more likely to grow, develop, and spread more quickly.
The treatment also plays a role. With effective treatment, kidney cancer should be able to controlled and treated as well before it spreads and become advanced!