Every year, around 80,000 new cases of kidney cancer are diagnosed in the United States. 

Kidney cancer doesn’t usually cause symptoms in its early stages. However, as the disease progresses, you might notice symptoms such as:

  • Hematuria (blood in urine)
  • Chronic pain in your back or side
  • Loss of appetite
  • Unintended weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Intermittent fever

If you experience any of these symptoms, especially blood in your urine, it’s important to make an appointment. Early diagnosis is often critical to successful treatment for kidney cancer and other diseases of your kidneys and urinary tract.

Diagnosis: Your urologist begins by reviewing your symptoms, medical history, and lifestyle. They perform a physical exam and order blood tests and urinalysis. If they suspect kidney cancer, they order imaging tests, such as CT scans or an MRI, to look for abnormal growths or tissue on the kidneys. If your imaging studies show abnormal tissue, your doctor will order a biopsy to see if the abnormal growth is cancerous. A biopsy can also help determine the stage of cancer if present.