When most people think about the issue of cancer within the kidneys, they think of kidney cancer cysts and tumors. To some degree, cysts and tumors can be completely benign, and may have no indication whatsoever of the presence of cancer. However, in other circumstances, the presence of such a mass may indicate the need for further examination and treatment. Kidney cancer cysts and tumors are abnormal growths within the kidney that may be referred to as a lesion or mass. The most common form of lesion to appear within the kidney is a fluid-filled area called a cyst. Often, cysts are benign, and will not progress to cancer, meaning that they don't need any other follow up treatment. On the other hand, solid tumors within the kidney can be benign, but more than 80% of them turn out to be cancerous.

Kidney Cysts:

Knowing the difference between kidney cancer cysts and tumors can be helpful in knowing the details of your condition. For example, a cyst is simply a round mass that is often filled with fluid, and they can be found in almost every part of the body. However, the kidney is by far one of the most common sites for the presence of cysts. In fact, kidney cysts are so common that fifty percent of the adults who receive an ultrasound will have at least one kidney cyst.

Generally, kidney cysts are completely harmless and require no form of treatment or follow up care. However, in rare circumstances, a type of kidney cancer can appear to be cystic, although it may show characteristics during imaging that indicate it is no more than a simple cyst. On the other hand, there are a number of reasons why a cyst may seem to be strange or unusual in some way, but have no relationship with cancer.

Kidney based Tumors:

Often far different to cysts, kidney tumors are generally solid masses which may not produce any symptoms whatsoever. Usually, these tumors are detected by accident during the evaluation of other unrelated problems, or during the process of a routine screening intended to assist people in high-risk categories. Most commonly, kidney tumors are a sign of cancer, and if that cancer has spread the symptoms a patient may experience will depend on the organs and tissues that are effected.

Perhaps the most common symptoms that an individual with evidence of kidney cancer may experience include flank pain that exists specifically on one side of the body, an evident mass on the area of the kidneys that is usually discovered by a doctor, or a fever that is persistent and not caused by other potential illnesses. Other symptoms may also include sudden and unexplained weight loss in a particular individual, a general feeling of ill health or fatigue, and anemia.

If you feel that you are at risk for kidney cancer for any reason at all, it's important to speak to your doctor about your concerns and undergo regular routine screenings for kidney cysts and tumors whenever they are available to you.