Kidney cancer is cancer that begins in the kidneys. Your kidneys are two bean-shaped organs, each about the size of your fist. They’re located behind your abdominal organs, with one kidney on each side of your spine. In adults, renal cell carcinoma is the most common type of kidney cancer.


Kidney cancer usually doesn’t have signs or symptoms in its early stages. In time, signs and symptoms may develop, including:

Blood in your urine, which may appear pink, red or cola colored
Pain in your back or side that doesn’t go away
Loss of appetite
Unexplained weight loss


Doctors know that kidney cancer begins when some kidney cells develop changes (mutations) in their DNA. A cell’s DNA contains the instructions that tell a cell what to do. The changes cause the cells to grow and divide quickly. The abnormal cells that accumulate form a tumor that can extend beyond the kidney. Some cells can break off and spread (metastasize) to distant parts of the body.

The cause of kidney cancer is unknown. The risk factors for kidney cancer include:
Family history
older age
be male
Kidney disease
be exposed to toxins in the workplace


There are several types of kidney cancer:

Renal cell carcinoma. Renal cell carcinoma is the most common type of kidney cancer in adults and accounts for around 85% of diagnoses. This type of cancer develops in the proximal renal tubules that make up the kidney’s filtration system. There are thousands of these tiny filtration units in each kidney. Treatment options for renal cell carcinoma are discussed later in this guide.

Urothelial carcinoma. This is also known as transitional cell carcinoma. It accounts for 5% to 10% of kidney cancers diagnosed in adults. Urothelial cancer begins in the area of ​​the kidney, where urine collects before it reaches the bladder, called the renal pelvis. This type of kidney cancer is treated like bladder cancer because both cancers start in the same cells.

Sarcoma. Kidney sarcoma is rare. This type of cancer develops in the soft tissue of the kidney; the thin layer of connective tissue that surrounds the kidney, called the capsule; or surrounding fat. Kidney sarcoma is usually operated on. However, the sarcoma often recurs in the kidney area or spreads to other parts of the body. After the first surgery, further surgery or chemotherapy may be recommended.

Wilms tumor. Wilms’ tumor is most common in children and is treated differently from kidney cancer in adults. Wilms tumors make up about 1% of kidney cancers. This type of tumor, when combined with surgery, is more likely to be successfully treated with radiation therapy and chemotherapy than the other types of kidney cancer. This has led to a different approach to treatment.

Lymphoma. Lymphoma can enlarge both kidneys and is associated with enlarged lymph nodes called lymphadenopathy in other parts of the body including the neck, chest, and abdominal cavity. In rare cases, renal lymphoma can appear as a single tumor mass in the kidney and include enlarged regional lymph nodes. If lymphoma is possible, your doctor may do a biopsy (see Diagnosis) and recommend chemotherapy instead of surgery.


Treatment for kidney cancer usually starts with surgery to remove the cancer. For cancers restricted to the kidney, this may be the only treatment required. If the cancer has spread beyond the kidney, additional treatments may be recommended.

You and your care team can work together to discuss your kidney cancer treatment options. The best approach for you may depend on a number of factors, including your general health, the type of kidney cancer you have, how the cancer is spread, and your preferences for treatment.


Stage I kidney tumor
Stage I kidney tumor Open popup dialog Bull Open kidney tumor
Stage II Kidney Tumor Open the Stage III Kidney Tumor pop-up dialog box
Kidney tumor in stage III Open popup dialog Kidney tumor in stage IV
Stage IV Kidney Tumor Open popup dialog box

Tests and procedures used to diagnose kidney cancer include:
Blood and urine tests. Blood and urine tests can help your doctor identify the causes and symptoms.
Imaging tests. Your doctor may use imaging tests to reveal a kidney tumor or abnormality. Imaging tests can include ultrasound, x-ray, CT, or MRI.
Taking a kidney tissue sample (biopsy). In some situations, your doctor may recommend a procedure to remove a small sample of cells (biopsy) from a suspicious area of your kidney. The sample will be checked for signs of cancer in a laboratory. This procedure is not always necessary.


Make an appointment with your doctor if you have any persistent signs or symptoms that worry you.


Many of the best hospitals for treating kidney cancer are located in India. The cost of kidney cancer treatment in India is much lower compared to other countries.


Factors that can increase your risk of kidney cancer include:
Older age. Your risk of kidney cancer increases as you get older.
Tuxedo. Smokers are at higher risk of kidney cancer than non-smokers. The risk decreases after quitting.
Obesity. Overweight people are at higher risk of kidney cancer than people of healthy weight.
High blood pressure (hypertension). High blood pressure increases the risk of kidney cancer.
Treatment of kidney failure. People on long-term dialysis to treat chronic kidney failure are at higher risk of developing kidney cancer.
Certain Inherited Syndromes. People born with certain hereditary syndromes may be at increased risk of kidney cancer, such as: E.g .: B. People with Hippel-Lindau disease, Birt-Hogg-Dube syndrome, tuberculosis complex, hereditary papillary renal cell carcinoma or familial kidney cancer.
Family history of kidney cancer. The risk of kidney cancer is higher if close family members have had the disease.


This means that more than two-thirds of people diagnosed with RCC live at least five years after their diagnosis. If the cancer is cured or treated, you may still have to live with long-term effects of the disease, which can include poor kidney function.