Tests and next steps for kidney cancer
Main tests for kidney cancer
If your GP refers you to a specialist because they think you could have kidney cancer, you’ll usually have some tests and scans.
These may include:
- an ultrasound scan
- a CT scan
- a cystoscopy – a camera is passed through the tube that carries pees out of your body (urethra) to look inside your bladder
- using a needle to collect a small sample of cells from 1 of your kidneys (biopsy) for testing
Find out more
Getting your results
It can take several weeks to get the results of your tests.
Try not to worry if your results are taking a long time to get to you. It doesn't mean anything is definitely wrong.
You can call the hospital or GP if you are worried. They should be able to update you.
A specialist will explain what the results mean and what will happen next. You may want to bring someone with you for support.
If you're told you have kidney cancer
Being told you have kidney cancer can feel overwhelming. You may be feeling anxious about what will happen next.
It can help to bring someone with you to any appointments you have.
A group of specialists will look after you throughout your diagnosis, treatment and beyond.
Your team will include a clinical nurse specialist who will be your main point of contact during and after treatment.
You can ask them any questions you have.
Macmillan Cancer Support has a free helpline that's open every day from 8am to 8pm.
They are there to listen if you have anything you want to talk about.
Call: 0808 808 00 00
If you've been told you have kidney cancer, you may need more tests, such as:
These, along with the tests you've already had, will help the specialists find out the size of the cancer and how far it's spread (called the stage).
You may need a small operation to look inside your tummy, called a laparoscopy.
The specialists will use the results of these tests and work with you to decide on the best treatment plan for you.
Find out more
Page last reviewed: 31 May 2023
Next review due: 31 May 2026