A wide range of symptoms can be present with renal carcinoma depending on which areas of the body have been affected.
The classic triad is hematuria (blood in the urine), flank pain and an abdominal mass. This triad only occurs in 10-15% of cases, and is generally indicative of more advanced disease.
Today, the majority of renal tumors are asymptomatic and are detected incidentally on imaging, usually for an unrelated cause.
Signs may include:
- Abnormal urine color (dark, rusty, or brown) due to blood in the urine (found in 60% of cases)
- Loin pain (found in 40% of cases)
- Abdominal mass (25% of cases)
- Malaise, weight loss or anorexia (30% of cases)
- Polycythemia (5% of cases). This is due to blockage of the left testicular vein by tumor invasion of the left renal vein; this typically does not occur on the right as the right gonadal vein drains directly into the inferior vena cava.
- Vision abnormalities
- Pallor or plethora
- Hirsutism - Excessive hair growth (females)
- Hypertension (high blood pressure) resulting from secretion of renin by the tumour (30% of cases) which occur in 9% of the patients
- Cold intolerance
- Back pain
- Chronic fatigue
- Leg and ankle swelling
- Loss of appetite
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"Renal cell carcinoma"
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Last Updated: Feb 1, 2011