Kidney cancer: Varicocele is an enlargement of veins and could be a symptom
Kidney cancer is cancer that begins in the kidneys. A person’s kidneys are two bean-shaped organs, each about the size of your fist. They’re located behind the abdominal organs, with one kidney on each side of your spine. Spotting a cluster of veins on your right testicle could be an early warning sign of the disease.
What are varicoceles?
A varicocele is an enlargement of the veins in the scrotum, the the bag that contains the testes.
Varicoceles are similar to varicose veins, but they occur around the testicles rather than the legs.
They do not usually cause any serious problems, but they can impact male fertility.
They happen when certain veins in the scrotum become enlarged, due to a malfunction in some of the valves involved in pumping the blood.
A case study was published in the Journal of Medical Case Reports of a man suffering with a varicocele.
The 54-year-old man had a left-sided varicocele and was also suffering with lower abdominal pain and a decrease in urination.
Four months previously, he had noticed pain and swelling in his left groin and had been diagnosed with left-sided varicocele.
His blood tests revealed severe kidney injury.
“Varicoceles could be an early presentation of a non-functioning adrenocortical carcinoma,” said the study.
It added: “Acute kidney injury can occur as a result of mass effect or thrombosis of renal vessels.
“Large tumours can cause abdominal pain as a late manifestation.
“Physicians should perform a complete abdominal examination in every patient with varicocele or testicular pain.”
Kidney cancer, also called renal cancer, is one of the most common types of cancer in the UK, said the NHS.
The public health body added: “It usually affects adults in their 60s or 70s.
“It is rare in people under 50.
“It can often be cured if it’s found early. But a cure will probably not be possible if it’s diagnosed after it has spread beyond the kidney.
“The treatment for kidney cancer depends on the size of the cancer and whether it has spread to other parts of the body.”