Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is difficult to diagnose early on, because it often presents with little or no symptoms until it has become advanced.1
In cases where symptoms do show up, the guidelines note a “classic triad” of symptoms:1,2
- Pain on sides of the body
- Bloody urine (can be microscopic amounts of blood)
- A palpable mass near the kidney
For men, dilated veins on the scrotum called scrotal varicoceles can also cause suspicion for RCC.1
These signs and symptoms may seem easy to spot, but the “classic triad” is fairly uncommon. Only up to 9% of patients with RCC are expected to present this combination of symptoms.1
In fact, according to the European Society for Medical Oncology, more than half of patients with RCC are diagnosed during an abdominal scan for something else.2
RCC can present with other signs and symptoms than listed above. Talk to a doctor or nurse if you have any questions.
To learn more:
References: 1. UpToDate. Clinical manifestations, evaluation, and staging of renal cell carcinoma. Available at http://www.uptodate.com. Accessed on August 22, 2016. 2. Escudier B, et al. Ann Oncol 2014;25(Suppl 3):iii49-iii56.
Last updated: September 17, 2016.
Photo adapted from original by RaphaelaFotografie, used under license.