Symptoms of kidney cancer 

Most cases of kidney cancer don't cause any symptoms in the early stages.

The most common symptoms of mid- to advanced-stage kidney cancer are:

  • blood in your urine (haematuria)  the amount of blood is usually high enough to change the colour of your urine to a reddish or dark brown colour
  • a persistent pain in your side, just below the ribs
  • a lump or swelling in the area of your kidneys (on either side of the body)

However, in around half of all cases the cancer causes no symptoms and is only detected during a routine ultrasound scan.

Less common symptoms of kidney cancer include:

When to seek medical advice

See your GP immediately if you have pain or a swelling or lump in your kidney area (on either side of your body, just below your ribcage).

You should also see your GP if you have blood in your urine. Although it's highly unlikely to be caused by kidney cancer, it could be a symptom of a less serious condition that still requires treatment, such as a kidney stone or bladder stone.


Page last reviewed: 17/10/2014

Next review due: 17/10/2016