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Kidney Cancer

Also called: Hypernephroma, Renal cancer

Summary

You have two kidneys. They are fist-sized organs on either side of your backbone above your waist. The tubes inside filter and clean your blood, taking out waste products and making urine. Kidney cancer forms in the lining of tiny tubes inside your kidneys.

Kidney cancer becomes more likely as you age. Risk factors include smoking, having certain genetic conditions, and misusing pain medicines for a long time.

You may have no symptoms at first. They may appear as the cancer grows. See your health care provider if you notice

  • Blood in your urine
  • A lump in your abdomen
  • Weight loss for no reason
  • Pain in your side that does not go away
  • Loss of appetite

Tests to diagnose kidney cancer include blood, urine, and imaging tests. You may also have a biopsy.

Treatment depends on your age, your overall health and how advanced the cancer is. It might include surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation, biologic, or targeted therapies. Biologic therapy boosts your body's own ability to fight cancer. Targeted therapy uses substances that attack cancer cells without harming normal cells.

NIH: National Cancer Institute

Start Here

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Cancer Institute) Also in
  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
  • (American Cancer Society) Also in
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Cancer Institute)

Diagnosis and Tests

Prevention and Risk Factors

  • (American Cancer Society) Also in

Treatments and Therapies

  • (American Cancer Society) Also in
  • (American Cancer Society) Also in
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Cancer Institute)
  • Kidney removal - slideshow (Medical Encyclopedia) Also in Spanish
  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
  • (American Cancer Society) Also in
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Cancer Institute)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Cancer Institute) Also in

Living With

  • (Kidney Cancer Association)
  • (Kidney Cancer Association)
  • (American Cancer Society) Also in

Related Issues

  • (Kidney Cancer Association)
  • (American Cancer Society) Also in

Genetics

  • (American Cancer Society) Also in
  • (American Society of Clinical Oncology)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Library of Medicine)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Library of Medicine)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Library of Medicine)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Library of Medicine)
  • (American Society of Clinical Oncology)

Health Check Tools

  • (Siteman Cancer Center)

Videos and Tutorials

  • Video (BroadcastMed) - Shawnee Mission Medical Center, Merriam, KS, 10/17/2012

Statistics and Research

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Cancer Institute)
  • (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) Also in
  • (American Cancer Society) Also in
  • (American Cancer Society) Also in

Clinical Trials

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)

Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)

Reference Desk

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases) Also in
  • (Nemours Foundation) Also in

Find an Expert

  • (American Society of Clinical Oncology)
  • From the National Institutes of Health Also in
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Cancer Institute) Also in

Children

Patient Handouts