Renal / Kidney cancer



Kidney cancer is marked by the abnormal growth of cells in one or both kidneys, resulting in a mass called a renal cortical tumor. According to the Globocan 2018 report, 15454 new cases and 9911 deaths were reported in India. The incidence rate and mortality rate for kidney cancer was found to be 1.3% & 1.3 respectively.

Types of Kidney Cancer

Renal cell carcinoma

In this type, cancer develops in the proximal renal tubules and it is the most common type of kidney cancer in adults. It accounts for 85% of kidney cancer diagnoses.

Transitional cell carcinoma

In this type, cancer develops in the renal pelvis and it accounts for 5-10% of the kidney cancers diagnosed. It is also known as urothelial carcinoma.

Wilms tumor

It accounts for 1% of the kidney cancers diagnosed. It is the most common tumor in children. Radiation therapy and chemotherapy can be used to successfully treat this kind of tumor.


In this type, cancer develops in the soft tissue of the kidney, the capsule, or the surrounding fat. It is a very rare type of kidney cancer and it can be treated with surgery followed by chemotherapy and second surgery.


It enlarges both kidneys which further results in enlargement of lymph nodes called lymphadenopathy.


Kidney cancer develops as a result of an inherited mutation of the VHL (von Hippel-Lindau) gene. An inherited mutation in the tumor suppressor genes such as the FH gene, FLCN gene, and SDHB & SDHD gene are also associated with an increased risk of kidney cancer.

Risk Factors

Family History

People are at higher risk of developing it when there is a strong family history of kidney cancer. The risk is higher when your brother or sister is diagnosed with kidney cancer.


Increased smoking is proportional to the risk of developing kidney cancer.

High blood pressure

The person with high blood pressure is at a higher risk of developing kidney cancer.


The probability of the risk of developing kidney cancer is 2-3 times higher in men than in women.


Kidney cancer is usually diagnosed in patients above 50 years of age.


The risk of developing kidney cancer is higher in people who are obese due to certain changes in hormones.

Overuse of certain medications

Use of certain medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and acetaminophen are associated with the risk of kidney cancer.

Cadmium exposure

Exposure to cadmium is associated with the risk of kidney cancer.

Signs & symptoms

The signs & symptoms associated with kidney cancer are:

Hematuria (Blood in the urine)

A lump on the side or back

High blood pressure


Loss of appetite


Weight loss

A fever occurring frequently but is not a result of any infection or cold


The diagnosis of kidney cancer can be performed by conducting the following tests

Blood and urine tests

This is not a specific diagnosis, but it is recommended to identify the number of Red blood cells in the blood and blood, bacteria, or cancer cells in the urine test



It is a procedure in which a tissue sample is removed using a thin needle when inserted into the tumor for the diagnosis of renal cell cancer


Intravenous pyelogram (IVP)

To diagnose cancer, X-rays of kidneys, ureters, and bladder are taken after injecting a dye which help in identifying the blockages


Computed tomography (CT) scan

A contrast dye is injected into the patient’s vein to delineate the renal tumour