Pacific Cancer Programs

Kidney Cancer

Kidney cancer is cancer that originates in the kidneys. Your kidneys are two bean-shaped organs, each about the size of your fist. They're located behind your abdominal organs, with one kidney on each side of your spine.

In adults, the most common type of kidney cancer is renal cell carcinoma. Other less common types of kidney cancer can occur. Transitional cell carcinoma, which affects the ureters, can also begin in the kidneys. Children are more likely to develop a kind of kidney cancer called Wilms' tumor.

The incidence of kidney cancer seems to be increasing, though it isn't clear why. Many kidney cancers are detected during procedures for other diseases or conditions. Imaging techniques such as computerized tomography (CT) are being used more often, which may lead to the discovery of more kidney cancers.

Signs and Symptoms

Kidney cancer rarely causes signs or symptoms in its early stages. In the later stages, kidney cancer signs and symptoms may include:

  • Blood in your urine, which may appear pink, red or cola colored
  • Back pain just below the ribs that doesn't go away
  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Intermittent fever

It's not clear what causes renal cell carcinoma. Doctors know that kidney cancer begins when some kidney cells acquire mutations in their DNA. The mutations tell the cells to grow and divide rapidly. The accumulating abnormal cells form a tumor that can extend beyond the kidney. Some cells can break off and spread (metastasize) to distant parts of the body.

Acknowledgment: This text is adapted from the MayoClinic website.

Resources

General Information

Kidney Cancer Association

"The Kidney Cancer Association (KCA) is a charitable organization made up of patients, family members, physicians, researchers, and other health professionals globally. We fund, promote, and collaborate with the National Cancer Institute (NCI), American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO), American Urological Association (AUA), and other institutions on research projects. We educate families and physicians, and serve as an advocate on behalf of patients at the state and federal levels."

National Cancer Institute (NCI)

NCI has up-to-date information for patients and practitioners about kidney cancer.

MedlinePlus - Kidney Cancer Link

MedlinePlus will direct you to information to help answer health questions. MedlinePlus brings together authoritative information from NLM, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and other government agencies and health-related organizations. MedlinePlus also has extensive information about drugs, an illustrated medical encyclopedia, interactive patient tutorials, and latest health news. Please make sure you check the MedlinePlus online for Kidney Cancer information with an extensive, constantly updated resource list.

MayoClinic - Kidney Cancer

Mayo Clinic physicians are leaders in diagnosing and treating people with kidney cancer, and bring comprehensive, compassionate care to each patient.

American Cancer Society (ACS)

Learn about kidney cancer, its risk factors, early detection, diagnosis, treatment and more.

Printed Materials to Download

ASCO Answers: Kidney Cancer

American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) 2008, 2 pages.

ASCO Answers is a series of fact sheets that provides an introduction to a specific type of cancer. Each fact sheet is a PDF that includes an overview of what the cancer is, an illustration of where the cancer starts, how it is treated, terms to know, and questions to ask the doctor.

“What You Need To Know About™ Kidney Cancer

NCI 2003, 45 pages.

NCI’s booklet helps you to learn about kidney cancer symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and questions to ask your health care provider.

"We Have Kidney Cancer"

"We Have Kidney Cancer" has been revised by the Kidney Cancer Association's Nurse Advisory Board, in consultation with the some of the world's leading surgeons and oncologists. Beautifully illustrated, this more than 100-page book comprehensively describes the treatment of kidney cancer, including information about cutting-edge therapies and clinical trials that could help to prolong the life of people with advanced cancer.

CancerCare: Progress in the Treatment of Kidney Cancer

The information in this booklet is based on the CancerCare Connect® Telephone Education Workshop "Progress in the Treatment of Renal Cell Carcinoma," which took place in April 2008.

Disclaimer: The Pacificcancer.org Web site provides links to other Internet sites and pdf files for informational purposes and the convenience of its users. When users select a link to an external Web site, they are leaving the Pacificcancer.org Web site and are subject to the privacy and security policies of the owners/sponsors of the external site.

Pacificcancer.org does not endorse organizations that sponsor linked, external Web sites. In addition, Pacificcancer.org does not endorse products or services that such organizations may offer. Furthermore, Pacificcancer.org does not control or guarantee the currency, accuracy, relevance, or completeness of information found on linked, external Web sites

Funding for this website was made possible by a cooperative agreement from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, through the following:
Pacific CEED, award #: 5U58DP000976,USAPI Community Health Interventions Project (CHIP), award #: 1U58DP005810,
Pacific Regional Central Cancer Registry, award #: 5U58DP003906; Regional Comprehensive Cancer Control Program, award #: U55/CCU923887.
The views expressed on this site do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the Department of Health and Human Services;
nor does mention of trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by them or the U.S. Government.
Funding Sources: PRCCR: #: 5U58DP003906  | Pacific REACH: #: 1U58DP005810 | RCCC: #: U55/CCU923887 

Copyright © 2015 | Pacific Cancer Programs | All Rights Reserved