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What is Kidney Cancer?

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.

What are the types of kidney cancer?

There are several types of kidney cancer:

What are the symptoms of kidney cancer? 

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

What causes kidney cancer? 

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 differences tell the cells to grow and divide rapidly. The accumulating abnormal cells form a tumor that can extend beyond the kidney. Some cells can break off and spread (metastasize) to distant parts of the body.

How is kidney cancer diagnosed?

Tests and procedures used to diagnose kidney cancer include:

How is kidney cancer managed or treated?

Kidney cancer treatment usually begins with surgery to remove cancer. For cancers confined to the kidney, this may be the only treatment needed. If cancer has spread beyond the kidney, additional treatments may be recommended. Together, you and your treatment team can discuss your kidney cancer treatment options. The best approach for you may depend on several factors, including your general health, the kind of kidney cancer you have, whether cancer has spread, and your preferences for treatment.

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