Due to the location of the kidneys, many people with kidney cancer don't have symptoms until the tumor has grown quite large. If there are symptoms, they vary from person to person.
The most common kidney cancer symptom is blood in the urine (hematuria), but hematuria can be caused by a variety of conditions so it doesn't necessarily mean you have cancer.
Other kidney cancer symptoms may include:
- A lump or mass on the side or lower back
- Unexplained fever for a few weeks
- Rapid weight loss
- Lingering dull ache or pain in the side, abdomen or lower back
- Feeling fatigued or in poor health
- Swelling of ankles and legs
These symptoms do not always mean you have kidney cancer and may be caused by other conditions. However, it is important to discuss any symptoms with your doctor, since they may signal other health problems.
Some cases of kidney cancer can be passed down from one generation to the next. Genetic counseling may be right for you. Learn more about the risk to you and your family on our genetic testing page.