Resources for Patients and their Families

Kidney Cancer

The kidneys are the organs located near the lumbar region of the back that are responsible for blood filtration, waste disposal and the production of urine. Most kidney cancer takes the form of renal cancer, which attacks the linings of these organs. As the most common form of this disease, it accounts for about 85% of all cases.

Symptoms of renal cancer can take the form of any or all of the following:

  • Lower back and side pain
  • Bloody urine
  • abdominal lump
  • anorexia
  • sudden weight loss
  • hypertension
  • fever
  • anemia
  • swelling

Risk Factors include:

  • exposure to industrial chemicals, including coal tar pitch and creosote
  • tobacco use
  • abuse of pain medication
  • genetic/family history

In addition, there have been studies implicating asbestos in the development of renal cancer. While asbestos is usually inhaled, it can also be ingested in water; additionally, asbestos fibers can enter the bloodstream as well as the lymphatic system and travel to virtually any location in the body. Other known diseases attributed to asbestos exposure include: mesothelioma, asbestosis, and lung cancer. There are several types of mesothelioma cancer including pleural mesothelioma, peritoneal mesothelioma, pericardial mesothelioma and epithelial mesothelioma to name a few. There are specific symptoms that a person who is diagnosed with mesothelioma will begin to show. Unfortunately, there is no known mesothelioma cure.



N/A. "Urological Disorders: Kidney Cancer." University of Maryland Medical Center.

Pesche, Beate et. al. "Occupational Risk Factor For Renal Cell Carcinoma: Agent- Specific Results From a Case Control Study in Germany. International Journal of Epidemiology vol. 29 (2000).

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