What are the symptoms of kidney cancer?

The most common signs of kidney cancer include a lump in the abdomen and blood in the urine. However, many people with kidney cancer may not experience symptoms until the disease has advanced.

Other symptoms of kidney cancer may include:

  • A pain in the side, abdomen or back that does not go away
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss with no known cause
  • A fever that does not go away
  • Anemia
  • Swelling in the ankles or legs
  • Chronic fatigue

How is kidney cancer diagnosed?

Many doctors find kidney tumors during a routine check-up or during a follow-up with a patient experiencing pain in the abdomen.

If your doctor suspects you have kidney cancer, he or she may conduct a physical exam and ask about your medical history. Once you are referred to one of our specialists, he or she may also order diagnostic tests to pinpoint the exact type of tumor, so we can work with you to develop the best possible treatment plan. Some of the diagnostic tests include:

  • Imaging tests, such as CT scans, MRIs, X-rays or ultrasounds.
  • Blood and urine tests.
  • Biopsy – During this procedure, we will remove a tiny piece of tissue from a tumor and a pathologist will examine the tissue under a microscope to see if it has cancerous cells.
  • Cystoscopy – This test involves inserting a small tube with a lens into your urethra to see the urethra and bladder.
  • Ureteroscopy – This test involves inserting a small, lighted tube through the urethra to better see the ureter, renal pelvis and bladder.
Patient Support Services

Patient Support Services

Designed for Healing, Wellness and Recovery

Taking care of the whole patient is an important component of providing personalized cancer care. Integrated into the fabric of the Miami Cancer Institute, the Cancer Patient Support Center addresses the psychological, physical, social and spiritual needs of our patients during cancer treatment and beyond.

Have questions? We're here to help.