Kidney Cancer: Symptoms & Signs

  • Medical Author:
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

Symptoms of kidney cancer include blood in the urine, giving the urine a rusty, pink, or dark red appearance. Persistent pain in the side (flank) is another common symptom, along with an abdominal mass or lump, fever, weight loss, tiredness, and a general feeling of being unwell. However, noncancerous conditions like cysts, benign tumors, or infections are the most common causes of these symptoms. Blood in the urine should always be investigated to determine the cause.

Causes of kidney cancer

The cause of kidney cancer is unknown. There are certain risk factors that make it more likely to develop kidney cancer. These include obesity, smoking, high blood pressure, long-term dialysis, male gender, Von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) syndrome, and certain occupational exposures (asbestos workers, for example).

REFERENCE:

Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/30/2017

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