Kidney Cancer

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About Kidney Cancer

Kidney cancer -- also called renal cancer -- is a disease in which kidney cells become malignant (cancerous) and grow out of control, forming a tumor. Almost all kidney cancers first appear in the lining of tiny tubes (tubules) in the kidney. This type of kidney cancer is called renal cell carcinoma. The good news is that most of kidney cancers are found before they spread (metastasize) to distant organs. And cancers caught early are easier to treat successfully. However, these tumors can grow to be quite large before they are detected.

Kidney cancers mainly originate in two parts of the kidney, the renal tubule and the renal pelvis. A cancer that starts outside the kidney and metastasizes to the kidney is not normally called kidney cancer.


  • • Blood in the urine
  • • A lump or mass in the back, near the kidneys Less often
  • • A continuous pain in the side, near the kidneys
  • • A lump in the abdomen
  • • Weight loss and loss of appetite

The kidneys are a pair of bean-shaped organs, each about the size of a fist. They are attached to the upper back wall of the abdomen and protected by the lower rib cage. One kidney is just to the left and the other just to the right of the backbone.

Risk factors for Breast Cancer:

Smoking   If you smoke cigarettes, your risk for kidney cancer is twice that of nonsmokers. Smoking cigars may also increase your risk.

Being male:   Men are about twice as likely as women to get kidney cancer.

Being black :   The risk in blacks is slightly higher than in whites. No one knows why.

Having lymphoma :  For an unknown reason, there is an increased risk of kidney cancer in patients with lymphoma.