Symptoms of kidney cancer

Main symptoms of kidney cancer

Often there are no obvious symptoms of kidney cancer. It’s usually diagnosed when testing for something else.

When there are symptoms, they can include:

Urgent advice: Ask for an urgent GP appointment or get help from 111 now if:

  • your pee is smelly, cloudy or has blood in it
  • it is painful to pee or you need to pee suddenly or more often
  • you have a pain in your back, under your ribs that does not go away
  • you have pain in your genitals
  • you have a lump or swelling in your back, under your ribs, or in your neck

It’s important to get help as soon as possible as the symptoms can be similar to a kidney infection, which can be serious if it's not treated quickly.

Get help from 111 online or call 111.

Non-urgent advice: See a GP if you have:

  • lost a noticeable amount of weight
  • a high temperature that does not go away
  • no energy or extreme tiredness (fatigue)


Some of these symptoms are common and can be caused by many different conditions.

Having them does not definitely mean you have kidney cancer. But it's important to get them checked by a GP.

This is because if they're caused by cancer, finding it early can mean it’s more treatable.

What happens at the GP appointment

The GP may examine you to feel any lumps or swelling in your back or neck.

They may ask you to give a pee sample or have a blood test.

Referral to a specialist

The GP may refer you for more tests or to see a specialist if they think you have symptoms that need to be investigated.

This may be an urgent referral, usually within 2 weeks, if you have certain symptoms. This does not definitely mean you have cancer.

Page last reviewed: 31 May 2023
Next review due: 31 May 2026