Kidney Cancer


Kidney cancer is a malignant cell growth (tumor) in the kidney.


  • Renal carcinoma is the third most common malignancy affecting the urinary system
  • Men are more often affected than women; the ratio is 3:2
  • It is more common during the 6th and 7th decade of life

Risk factors

  • Smoking
  • Hypertension
  • Obesity
  • Family history


In early stages, kidney cancer is asymptomatic. However, the following symptoms may develop:

  • Hematuria (blood in urine)
  • Palpable mass
  • Pain in the kidney region
  • Weakness and exhaustion, not attributable to another disease
  • Hypertension
  • Mild fever during the night
  • Loss of weight

Due to the wide use of imaging methods, such as ultrasonography, renal tumors are commonly detected incidentally during an abdominal ultrasound for the investigation of another cause.


For the establishment of the diagnosis, the following are required:

  • History: it provides information on the type and symptom onset
  • Clinical examination: it can show a palpable mass in the kidney region
  • Urine tests
  • Blood tests: important to examine the renal function and check for anemia
  • Ultrasound: a simple, painless and harmless imaging study which can diagnose a renal tumor
  • CT scan
  • MRI scan


This depends on the stage of the disease, tumor size, patient age and overall health status.

The treatment options are:

  • Tumors measuring less than 4cm are treated with partial nephrectomy (resection of a part of the kidney)

kidney cancer


  • With larger tumors, radical nephrectomy is recommended

kidney cancer


  • With advanced or metastatic disease, immunotherapy is recommended
  • Radiotherapy is applied as a palliative treatment to reduce the pain in patients with metastases