Kidney cancer is the 8th most common cause of cancer in the UK. It is more common in people aged over 60-70 and less common in those aged under 50.

There are several different types of kidney cancer. The most common is known as renal cell carcinoma.

What are the kidneys?

The kidneys are two organs that filter waste and fluid from the blood that passes through them to produce urine. ‘Renal’ refers to the kidney.

What are the symptoms of kidney cancer?

Kidney cancer commonly causes no symptoms and is often picked up incidentally during investigations for other symptoms or conditions.

Symptoms can include:

  • Blood in the urine
  • Pain or a lump in the kidney area (loin/side of back/abdomen)
  • Weight loss, lethargy, malaise, loss of appetite.

How is kidney cancer treated?

Treatment will depend on the type and stage of cancer.

  • Surveillance. Small cancers can be very slow growing and are monitored, avoiding the risks of invasive treatment.
  • Surgery. Whole or part of the kidney is removed by keyhole or open surgery
  • Ablation. A needle probe is placed into the tumour. The probe is then heated or frozen to destroy the cancerous cells.

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