Carolinas HealthCare System

In many cases, kidney tumors don’t trigger any symptoms; instead, a tumor may be found during a routine exam or screening. As the tumor grows or spreads beyond the kidney, symptoms may include:

  • Side, abdominal or back pain
  • A mass that can be felt
  • Urine in the blood (visible either with the naked eye or only with a microscope)
  • Trouble breathing
  • Coughing up blood
  • Bone pain or fracture
  • Neurological issues
  • Weight loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fever
  • Sweats
  • High blood pressure

The last five symptoms can be signs of what’s called paraneoplastic syndromes, which occur in one-fifth of all kidney cancer patients. These can occur whether cancer has spread or not and may also be accompanied by abnormal test results, such as a low blood count and abnormal liver function.

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, see your healthcare provider right away. While the symptoms can often be attributed to a less serious health issue, your provider is the best person to make that determination. If caught early, kidney cancer has a survival rate of 79 to 100 percent, according to the American Urological Association.