Kidney Cancer

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Houston Methodist’s specialists are among the nation’s leaders in treating kidney cancer. Using a team-based approach and cutting-edge technologies, we're committed to providing expert care in a compassionate, collaborative and innovative environment.


We offer advanced cancer care at seven locations across the Greater Houston area, allowing you or your loved one to receive kidney cancer treatment close to home or work.

Why Choose Houston Methodist for Kidney Cancer Treatment

The benefits of choosing our kidney cancer care team include:

  • A team of experts, including medical, surgical and radiation oncologists, that works together to design a personalized treatment plan specific to your kidney cancer
  • Advanced diagnostics and treatment options, including minimally invasive procedures that preserve kidney function and speed up recovery
  • Oncology nurse navigators who guide you through your cancer care — from diagnosis through survivorship
  • Access to clinical trials offering potentially promising kidney cancer treatments not available to the general public
  • Expertise in kidney transplant, if needed to treat kidney cancer


Additionally, our researchers are continuously studying new therapies and treatments in order to improve kidney cancer outcomes.

About Kidney Cancer

What Causes Kidney Cancer?

Kidney cancer occurs when cells in the kidney grow uncontrollably.


Although the exact cause of kidney cancer is unknown, it has been linked to several risk factors, including:

  • Age – occurs more frequently with increasing age, typically after age 50
  • Gender – men are more than twice as likely to get kidney cancer as women
  • Obesity
  • High blood pressure
  • Exposure to asbestos, cadmium, coke (in making steel), benzene, herbicides and organic solvents
  • Having advanced kidney disease
  • Being on kidney dialysis long-term
  • Having a rare inherited condition, such as von Hippel-Lindau disease or hereditary papillary renal cell carcinoma
  • A family history of kidney disease


A risk factor is anything that affects your chance of getting a disease such as cancer, but risk factors do not tell us everything. Having one or more risk factors does not mean you will definitely get kidney cancer, and having no risk factors does not mean you cannot get it.

What Are the Kidney Cancer Symptoms?

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. These symptoms can indicate conditions other than a kidney tumor, so it’s important to consult with your doctor for proper and prompt diagnosis.

How Is Kidney Cancer Diagnosed?

If kidney cancer is suspected, your doctor may order one or more of the following tests:

  • Urine test – uses a urine sample to check for blood or other signs of kidney cancer
  • Blood test  used to check for several substances that may indicate the kidneys are not functioning correctly, such as a high level of creatinine, for example
  • CT scan – uses X-rays and a computer to create detailed cross-sectional pictures of your abdomen
  • MRI scan – uses powerful magnets and pulses of radio waves to create pictures of your abdomen
  • Biopsy – uses a thin needle poked through your skin and into the kidney to remove a small sample of tissue, which a pathologist examines for the presence of cancerous cells

How Is Kidney Cancer Treated?

Our cancer experts work as a team to offer the most advanced kidney cancer treatment options, including minimally invasive procedures that help speed recovery. Our goal is to provide effective treatments while preserving kidney function.


Learn more about how our experts treat kidney cancer >

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