Kidney Cancer Signs and Symptoms

Early kidney cancers usually do not cause any signs or symptoms, but larger ones might. Some possible signs and symptoms of kidney cancer include:

  • Blood in the urine (hematuria)
  • Low back pain on one side (not caused by injury)
  • A mass (lump) on the side or lower back
  • Fatigue (tiredness)
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss not caused by dieting
  • Fever that is not caused by an infection and that doesn’t go away
  • Anemia (low red blood cell counts)

These signs and symptoms can be caused by kidney cancer (or another type of cancer), but more often they are caused by other, benign, diseases. For example, blood in the urine is most often caused by a bladder or urinary tract infection or a kidney stone. Still, if you have any of these symptoms, see a doctor so that the cause can be found and treated, if needed.

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Atkins MB. UpToDate. Clinical manifestations, evaluation, and staging of renal cell carcinoma; This topic last updated: Nov 13, 2018. Accessed at https://www.uptodate.com/contents/clinical-manifestations-evaluation-and-staging-of-renal-cell-carcinoma on November 21, 2019.

National Cancer Institute. Physician Data Query (PDQ). Renal Cell Cancer Treatment – Patient Version. 2019. https://www.cancer.gov/types/kidney/patient/kidney-treatment pdq. Updated November 8, 2019. Accessed on November 21, 2019.

National Comprehensive Cancer Network. NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology: Kidney Cancer. V.2.2020. Accessed at: www.nccn.org on November 21, 2019.

Last Medical Review: February 1, 2020 Last Revised: February 1, 2020

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