Kidney cancers often do not cause symptoms in the early stages. When symptoms do occur, they may include:
- Blood in your urine.
- Low back pain.
- A mass or lump on the side or lower back.
- Loss of appetite.
- Weight loss.
- Recurrent fevers.
- Swelling of your ankles and legs.
Conditions other than cancer may cause the same symptoms as kidney cancer. If you have any symptoms that concern you, discuss them with your doctor.
Risk factors for kidney cancer include:
- Age. The risk of kidney cancer increases as you age. Kidney cancer occurs most often in people age 55 and older.
- Sex. Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is about twice as common in men as in women.
- Smoking. Smokers are twice as likely to get kidney cancer as nonsmokers.
- Obesity and diet. Being overweight and having a high-fat diet increase your risk.
- Genetic and hereditary factors. Having kidney disease or a family history of kidney cancer puts you at greater risk.
- High blood pressure. Risk for kidney cancer is elevated in people with high blood pressure.
Five inherited diseases result from a faulty gene that increase kidney cancer risk:
- Von Hippel-Lindau syndrome.
- Birt-Hogg-Dube syndrome.
- Hereditary papillary RCC.
- Hereditary leiomyomatosis.
- RCC syndromes.