Kidney cancer

Kidney cancer (renal cell carcinoma) is caused by a relatively rare malignant tumour.


Kidney cancer (renal cell carcinoma) is caused by a relatively rare malignant tumour. The exact cause is unknown; the risk factors include, among other things, smoking, obesity and high blood pressure. Nowadays, the tumour is often discovered by chance, as it is initially asymptomatic. Otherwise, typical symptoms include blood in the urine and pain and pressure in the side. These symptoms should generally be discussed with the doctor.


  • Usually asymptomatic (often discovered by chance)
  • Possible symptoms
    • Bloody urine
    • Pain and pressure in the side (loins)
    • Rarely: palpable tumour in the upper abdomen
  • Advanced stage


Causes and treatment


  • The cause is not known

Risk factors

Further treatment by your doctor / in hospital

Possible tests
  • Physical examination
  • Urine test
  • Blood test
  • Biopsy, if necessary
  • Ultrasound (sonography)
    • Early detection
    • Tumour is often discovered by chance
  • CT scan (computed tomography)
Possible therapies
  • Surgery (first choice)
    • Removal of tumour (kidney is saved)
    • Advanced stages: removal of kidney
  • Surgery is often not an option
    • Radiation therapy
    • Radiofrequency ablation (destruction of tumour by heat)
    • Medication

What can I do myself?

  • Stop smoking
  • Regular preventive examinations, if necessary

When to see a doctor?

Further information

Swiss Cancer League (Schweizerische Krebsliga)

Selbsthilfe Schweiz (Self-Help Support Switzerland)


kidney cancer, renal cell carcinoma, Grawitz tumour, hypernephroma, renal cell adenocarcinoma, RCC

Exclusion of liability

CSS offers no guarantee for the accuracy and completeness of the information. The information published is no substitute for professional advice from a doctor or pharmacist.