Symptoms of Kidney Cancer
Common symptoms of kidney cancer can include:

  • Blood in your urine
  • Pain in your side that will not go away
  • A lump or mass in your side or abdomen
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Unexplained fever
  • Persistent fatigue
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, contact your doctor as soon as possible.   Symptoms may also indicate conditions other than a kidney tumor so it’s important to consult with your doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment. 

Diagnostic Tests for Kidney Cancer
If your doctor suspects the possibility of kidney cancer, they may order one or more tests, including imaging techniques, such as computerized tomography (CT) scan or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

  • Urine tests check for blood or other signs of kidney cancer from a urine sample.
  • Blood tests are conducted to check for several substances. A high level of creatinine, for example, indicates that the kidneys are not functioning as they should.
  • CT scan is an imaging method that uses X-rays and a computer to create detailed cross-sectional pictures of your abdomen.
  • An MRI is a scanner that uses powerful magnets and pulses of radio waves to create pictures of your abdomen. Your doctor may order a special dye (contrast material) to be injected to help show differences in the tissues of your kidneys, lymph nodes or other tissues.
  • Biopsy may be performed based on the results of other tests.  Your doctor inserts a thin needle through your skin into the kidney to remove a small sample of tissue, which a pathologist examines for the presence of cancerous cells.


Our physicians specialize in managing kidney cancer at the following convenient Houston Methodist Cancer Center locations.