Kidney Cancer

What is Kidney Cancer?

Renal cell cancer (also called kidney cancer) is a disease in which cancer cells are found in the lining of tubules in the kidney. There are 2 kidneys, one on each side of the backbone, above the waist. They filter the blood and take out waste products and make urine.

The incidence of kidney cancer seems to be increasing. One reason for this may be the fact that imaging scans such as Ultrasonography are being used more often. Fortunately, in many such cases, kidney cancer is found at an early stage, when the tumors are small and confined to the kidney, making it easier to treat. A significant number of such patient can be cured with surgery.


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
  • Pain in your back or side that doesn't go away
  • Loss of appetite
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Tiredness
  • Fever, which usually comes and goes (intermittent)


  • Smoking: Smokers have a greater risk of kidney cancer than nonsmokers do. The risk decreases after you quit.
  • Misusing certain pain medicines: including over-the-counter pain medicines, for a long time.
  • Certain inherited syndromes: Such as those who have von Hippel-Lindau disease, Birt-Hogg-Dube syndrome, tuberous sclerosis complex, hereditary papillary renal cell carcinoma or familial renal cancer.
  • Having a family history of renal cell cancer: Even in the absence of an inherited syndrome, people who have a strong family history of renal cell cancer have a greater risk of kidney cancer.
  • Exposure to certain substances: in the workplace this might include, for example, exposure to cadmium or specific herbicides.

How is it diagnosed?

Doctors use many tests to diagnose cancer. They also conduct tests to learn if cancer has spread to another part of the body. Some of the major tests which are performed are:


How is it treated?

The outcome of treatment and options depend on the: the stage of the disease and the patient's age and general health. For Kidney cancers five types of standard treatment are used:


  • Surgery

    • Partial nephrectomy (Robotic/ Laparoscopic/ Open): A surgical procedure to remove the cancer within the kidney and some of the tissue around it while preserving some part of normal kidney. A partial nephrectomy may be done to prevent loss of kidney function when the other kidney is damaged or has already been removed.
    • Radical nephrectomy: A surgical procedure to remove the complete kidney along with its surrounding fat and tissue, and, usually, nearby lymph nodes

  • Targeted therapy

    In this treatment, we uses certain drugs which specifically target and block certain enzymes, proteins or other molecules involved in the growth and spread of cancer cells. Some types of targeted therapies help the immune system kill cancer cells or deliver toxic substances directly to cancer cells and kill them.

  • Radiation

    Radiation therapy as palliative therapy to relieve symptoms in patients who cannot have surgery.

  • Arterial Embolisation

    This is used as palliative therapy

How does Medanta provide care?

Medanta Kidney & Urology Institute's integrated practice brings together a multispecialty treatment team of experts to ensure you get the best care available. A team of highly qualified and dedicated doctors is supported by a cutting edge tec..

Consult with experienced doctors

Advanced technologies to treat the ailment

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