Kidney Cancer

The Urology Unit in St. James’s Hospital provides a multidisciplinary service that focuses on the diagnosis and management of patients with prostate, kidney, bladder, testicular and penile cancer. The unit has a strong commitment to improving patient quality of care and outcomes through research involving urological cancer diagnosis and treatment.

What is Kidney Cancer?

Most people have two kidneys. Your kidney is a small bean-shaped organ found on either side of your spine. One of the functions of the kidney is to make urine. Kidney cancer occurs when the cells in your kidney grow abnormally to form a tumor.  There are different forms of kidney cancer, the most common being Renal Cell Carcinoma, cancer arising from the kidney cells, and Transitional Cell Carcinoma, cancer arising from the lining of the urine conducting area. There are also rare kidney cancers such as sarcomas. Symptoms of kidney cancer can be vague at first, and are similar to symptoms of other conditions such as infection or kidney stones. The most common symptom is blood in the urine. There are a range of tests to check for kidney cancer. You may need to have one or more of the following tests:  blood tests, urine tests, ultrasound, CT scan, MRI scan or biopsy.