Information for Patients
You have two kidneys. They are fist-sized organs on either side of your backbone above your waist. The tubes inside filter and clean your blood, taking out waste products and making urine. Kidney cancer forms in the lining of tiny tubes inside your kidneys.
Kidney cancer becomes more likely as you age. Risk factors include smoking, having certain genetic conditions, and misusing pain medicines for a long time.
You may have no symptoms at first. They may appear as the cancer grows. See your health care provider if you notice
- Blood in your urine
- A lump in your abdomen
- Weight loss for no reason
- Pain in your side that does not go away
- Loss of appetite
Tests to diagnose kidney cancer include blood, urine, and imaging tests. You may also have a biopsy.
Treatment depends on your age, your overall health and how advanced the cancer is. It might include surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation, biologic, or targeted therapies. Biologic therapy boosts your body's own ability to fight cancer. Targeted therapy uses substances that attack cancer cells without harming normal cells.
NIH: National Cancer Institute
Wilms tumor Wilms tumor is a form of kidney cancer that primarily develops in children. Nearly all cases of Wilms tumor are diagnosed before the age of 10, with two-thirds being found before age 5.Wilms tumor is often first noticed because of abdominal swelling or a mass in the kidney that can be felt upon physical examination. Some affected children have abdominal pain, fever, a low number of red blood cells (anemia), blood in the urine (hematuria), or high blood pressure (hypertension). Additional signs of Wilms tumor can include loss of appetite, weight loss, nausea, vomiting, and tiredness (lethargy).Wilms tumor can develop in one or both kidneys. About 5 to 10 percent of affected individuals develop multiple tumors in one or both kidneys. Wilms tumor may spread from the kidneys to other parts of the body (metastasize). In rare cases, Wilms tumor does not involve the kidneys and occurs instead in the genital tract, bladder, abdomen, chest, or lower back. It is unclear how Wilms tumor develops in these tissues.With proper treatment, children with Wilms tumor have a 90 percent survival rate. However, the risk that the cancer will come back (recur) is between 15 and 50 percent, depending on traits of the original tumor. Tumors usually recur in the first 2 years following treatment and develop in the kidneys or other tissues, such as the lungs. Individuals who have had Wilms tumor may experience related health problems or late effects of their treatment in adulthood, such as decreased kidney function, heart disease, and development of additional cancers.