Symptoms of kidney cancer can include the following:
- Blood in urine (haematuria).
- High blood pressure (hypertension).
- Weight loss and/or loss of appetite and/or fatigue (cachexia).
- Pain on the sides and/or in the lower back.
- Swelling (Oedema), especially of the legs and feet.
- Blood tests may show an elevated platelet count, an abnormal red blood cell count or elevated calcium levels.
- Some people experience night sweats (sleep hyperhidrosis).
- Sometimes the cancer may be palpable, i.e. the mass can be felt with your fingers.
Since all of these symptoms may be related to other conditions, it is not possible to be sure you have kidney cancer by only examining the symptoms. It is only possible to be sure you have a kidney tumour, whether benign or cancerous, by consulting a doctor.
It is not unusual for people with BHD syndrome to be completely unaware that they have kidney cancer at all. You may have no symptoms. This is especially true of people whose cancer is diagnosed in the early stages. It is necessary that you inform your doctor if you have BHD syndrome, so that you will be regularly scanned for cysts, tumours and cancers. Imaging tests, such as an MRI scan, will show a tumour even if you have no symptoms.
Publication date: September 2012
Review date: September 2015