Kidney cancer, also called renal cell cancer or renal adenocarcinoma, is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells are found in the lining of tubules (very small tubes) in the kidney. There are two kidneys, one on each side of the backbone, above the waist. The tiny tubules in the kidneys filter and clean the blood, taking out waste products and making urine. The urine passes from each kidney into the bladder through a long tube called a ureter. The bladder stores the urine until it is passed from the body.
Cancer that starts in the ureters or the renal pelvis (the part of the kidney that collects urine and drains it to the ureters) is different from renal cell cancer.
Possible signs of renal cell cancer include blood in the urine and a lump in the abdomen. These and other symptoms may be caused by renal cell cancer. Other conditions may cause the same symptoms. There may be no symptoms in the early stages. Symptoms may appear as the tumor grows. A doctor should be consulted if any of the following problems occur:
- Blood in the urine
- A lump in the abdomen
- A pain in the side that doesn't go away
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss for no known reason