The kidneys are two (or one) bean-shaped organs about the size of a fist and are located near the middle of your back on either side of your spine and just below the rib cage. They are vital organs; you can’t survive without them. They filter out waste and extra water from your blood to make urine, control chemicals and fluid in your body, help control blood pressure, promote healthy bones, and assist in the production of red blood cells.
When your kidneys are functioning improperly, they allow waste and water to flow back into your blood stream instead of sending them out through your urine. Usually, early stages of kidney cancer (or renal cell carcinoma) do not express any symptoms, but if it’s caught within the early stage parameters, the chance that it will return is low. About 30% of patients show signs of advanced kidney cancer when diagnosed, and about 20% of patients have metastatic disease at the time of their diagnosis. The most common symptom of kidney cancer is known as hematuria, a painless urination of blood. Although this can also be a sign of kidney stones, you should visit your doctor immediately if you experience blood in your urine. Your kidneys are worth it.