Symptoms and Signs of Renal Cell Cancer

Medical Author: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
Medically Reviewed on 3/11/2019

Doctor's Notes on Renal Cell Cancer

Renal cell cancer occurs when the cells of the kidneys start to grow abnormally. Several different types of cancer can develop in the kidney. Clear cell renal cell cancer (renal cell carcinoma), the most common type of kidney cancer in adults, develops in the tubules (part of the filtering system) of the kidney.

There may be no symptoms of renal cell cancer in the early stages. When symptoms of renal cell cancer occur they may include blood in the urine, lower back pain or side pain that will not go away, noticeable lump in the flank, weight loss, fatigue, loss of appetite, fever, night sweats, feeling unwell (malaise), and low red blood cell count (anemia). Symptoms such as a mass that can be felt in the flank, pain in the kidney region, or weight loss are often signs of advanced renal cell cancer.

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