In many cases, kidney cancer isn’t diagnosed until it has reached an advanced stage. This occurs because kidney cancer can grow without causing any noticeable symptoms, and because it’s often difficult to detect small kidney tumors during a physical examination given the kidneys’ location within the abdomen.
With this in mind, it would make sense that you would want to know how to detect kidney cancer as early as possible. As of now, the scientific community has not recommended any screening tests for individuals who have an average risk of developing kidney cancer. It should be noted, however, that a urinalysis can sometimes detect trace amounts of blood in the urine, which can be a sign of kidney cancer. Because a urinalysis is often performed as part of a routine physical examination, it’s important to regularly visit your medical provider for checkups.
Kidney cancer risk factors
As noted above, there currently aren’t any kidney cancer screening tests recommended for routine use among the general public. However, in cases where an individual has an especially high risk of developing this disease, a physician may regularly look for kidney cancer tumors using imaging tests such as ultrasounds, intravenous pyelograms (IVPs), computerized tomography scans (CTs) and magnetic resonance imaging scans (MRIs). Risk factors for kidney cancer include:
- Von Hippel-Lindau disease (VHL)
- Birt-Hogg-Dubé syndrome (BHD)
- A family history of kidney cancer
- A history of smoking and/or misusing over-the-counter pain medication
The team to choose for kidney cancer diagnosis and treatment
If you fall into one of the high-risk categories mentioned above, or if you’ve started experiencing kidney cancer symptoms and are concerned that you might have the disease, you can turn to Moffitt Cancer Center for a diagnosis and any necessary treatment. Call us today at 1-888-663-3488 or complete our new patient registration form online to request an appointment with a specialist in our Urologic Oncology Program.