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Kidney Stones or Kidney Cancer? Unveiling the Truth
Kidney Stones or Kidney Cancer? Unveiling the Truth

When it comes to health concerns, distinguishing between different conditions can be challenging, especially when symptoms seem similar. One such scenario involves kidney stones and kidney cancer. In this article, we will delve into the nuances of these two conditions, shedding light on their differences, symptoms, and diagnostic approaches.

Understanding Kidney Stones And Their Symptoms

Kidney stones, also known as renal calculi, are solid deposits formed from minerals and salts within the kidneys. A common condition, it is estimated that more than 1 in 10 people will have a kidney stone during their lives. These stones can manifest due to various factors, including diet, medical conditions, and excess body weight. They can affect any part of the urinary tract, from the kidneys to the bladder. Typically, kidney stones remain asymptomatic until they start moving within the kidney or pass into the ureters, the tubes connecting the kidneys and bladder.

When a stone gets stuck in the ureters, it can block the flow of urine, causing the kidney to swell and the ureter to spasm, leading to severe pain. 

The symptoms of kidney stones include:

  • sharp pain in the side and back
  • radiating pain to the lower abdomen and groin
  • discomfort while urinating
  • changes in urine colour
  • cloudiness
  • a persistent need to urinate
  • urinating more often than usual or urinating in small amounts
  • nausea and vomiting
  • fever and chills if an infection is present

Common Symptoms of Kidney Stones & Kidney Cancer

It’s worth noting that both kidney stones and kidney cancer can present with some similar symptoms, such as blood in the urine, severe pain on one side of the lower back, and fever. This resemblance in symptoms can sometimes lead to misdiagnosis, making it crucial to consult a medical professional for accurate assessment and diagnosis.

Diagnosing Kidney Cancer: Expert Guidance Matters

When it comes to diagnosing kidney cancer, seeking expert guidance from a kidney cancer specialist is essential. To diagnose kidney cancer, various tests are conducted:

  • Urinalysis: This involves analysing urine in the lab to detect blood or cancer cells.
  • Blood Chemistry Tests: These assess kidney function and overall health.
  • Complete Blood Count (CBC): This counts different types of blood cells like red and white blood cells. Kidney cancer patients often show low red blood cell counts, called anaemia.
  • Chest X-Ray: X-rays of the chest can reveal if cancer has spread to the lungs.
  • CT Scan: This special x-ray provides detailed images of the kidney, helping identify abnormal growth.
  • MRI Scan: Using radio waves and magnets, MRI captures soft tissue images, assessing tumor characteristics and spread beyond the kidney.
  • Ultrasound: Sound waves create internal body images, aiding in distinguishing solid and fluid-filled kidney masses. If necessary, ultrasound guides a needle for biopsy.
  • Kidney Biopsy: A small tissue piece is taken for testing, confirming cancer presence. However, biopsies are not always needed, as scans and X-rays often suffice to diagnose cancer.

Exploring Your Treatment Options

If you or a loved one is facing a potential kidney cancer diagnosis, know that you’re not alone on this journey. Our team at OncoCare specialises in providing personalised care and guidance tailored to your unique needs. Our advanced diagnostic tools and experienced team of specialists in Singapore ensure that you receive the best possible treatment.

Understanding the nuances between kidney stones and kidney cancer is vital for accurate diagnosis and timely intervention. Whether it’s expert consultations or state-of-the-art treatments, we are here to offer comprehensive support and peace of mind.

Remember, your health is precious, and seeking professional assistance can make all the difference. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us at OncoCare for reliable information, expert care, and a brighter path towards your health and well-being.

“Expert knowledge means better care for cancer”

Written by:
Dr Akhil Chopra
MBBS (Delhi)
American Board Certified (Int Med)
American Board Certified (Hematology)
American Board Certified (Med Oncology)