Kidney Tumor

Kidney cancer, also known as renal cancer, is a type of cancer that starts in the cells in the kidney. The two most common types of kidney cancer are renal cell carcinoma (RCC) and transitional cell carcinoma (TCC) (also known as urothelial cell carcinoma) of the renal pelvis.

Signs of renal cell cancer include blood in the urine and a lump in the abdomen.

These and other signs and symptoms may be caused by renal cell cancer or by other conditions. There may be no signs or symptoms in the early stages. Signs and symptoms may appear as the tumor grows. Some of the symptoms/signs are:

  • blood in your urine – you may notice your urine is darker than normal or reddish in color
  • 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

The treatment for kidney cancer depends on the size of the cancer and whether it has spread to other parts of the body.

The main treatments are:

  • surgery to remove part or all of the affected kidney – this the main treatment for most people
  • ablation therapies – where the cancerous cells are destroyed by freezing or heating them
  • biological therapies – medications that help stop the cancer growing or spreading
  • embolization – a procedure to cut off the blood supply to the cancer
  • radiotherapy – where high-energy radiation is used to target cancer cells and relieve symptoms

Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) of renal tumors is a promising technique that plays a unique and increasingly important role in urologic oncology practices. RFA is appealing as a minimally invasive therapy that may be performed on an outpatient basis. Renal Cell Carcinoma (RCC) accounts for approximately 85% of renal tumors. Most interventional radiologists (IRs) who are familiar with radiofrequency ablation (RFA) of liver tumors can extrapolate some ablation techniques but local tumor ablation in the kidney presents unique challenges


  1. NIH, National Cancer Institute USA
  2. NHS UK

Stone MJ, Venkatesan AM, Locklin J, Pinto P, Linehan M, Wood BJ. Radiofrequency Ablation of Renal Tumors. Techniques in vascular and interventional radiology. 2007