Symptoms - Kidney cancer

In many cases, there are no obvious symptoms of kidney cancer at first and it may only be picked up during tests carried out for another reason.

If symptoms do occur, they're often similar to those of less serious conditions, such as urinary tract infections (UTIs) or kidney stones.

Main symptoms

Symptoms of kidney cancer can include:

  • blood in your pee – you may notice your pee is darker than normal or reddish in colour
  • a persistent pain in your lower back or side, just below your ribs
  • a lump or swelling in your side (although kidney cancer is often too small to feel)
  • extreme tiredness (fatigue)
  • loss of appetite and weight loss
  • persistent high blood pressure
  • a high temperature of 38C (100.4F) or above
  • night sweats 
  • in men, swelling of the veins in the testicles
  • swollen glands in your neck
  • bone pain
  • coughing up blood

Some of these symptoms only occur once the cancer is more advanced and has spread to other parts of the body, such as the bones or lungs.

When to get medical advice

See your GP if you have symptoms of kidney cancer.

Although it's unlikely you have cancer, it's important to get your symptoms checked out.

Your GP may sometimes need to refer you for some tests in hospital to find out what the problem is.

Page last reviewed: 12/12/2016
Next review due: 12/12/2019