Kidney Cancer Diagnosis Stories

Kidney Cancer Stories

Kidney cancer can develop in adults and children. The main types of kidney cancer are renal cell (cancer forms on the outside or cortex of the kidney) and urothelial cancer (cancer forms in kidney lining). Renal cell carcinoma accounts for about 85% of all kidney cancers.

Explore below for our in-depth kidney cancer stories from our community members who share everything from first symptoms to navigating life with cancer.


Kidney Cancer Patient Stories

Renal Cell Carcinoma Stories

The most common form of kidney cancer. The cancer begins to form in the lining of the renal tubules in the kidney. Renal tubules are responsible for filtering blood and producing urine.


Rachel R., Renal Cell Carcinoma, Stage 2



Cancer details: > 90% of malignant kidney tumors
1st symptoms: Excessive fatigue, blood in urine, sharp abdominal, back pain
Treatment: Laparoscopic nephrectomy (surgical removal of kidney)
...

Laura F., Renal Cell Carcinoma (Clear Cell), Stage 4



1st Symptoms: Severe headaches



Treatment: Partial nefrectomy (surgical removal of one kidney), Gamma Knife brain radiation, stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT), nivolumab (Opdivo), Avastin, cabozantinib
...

Transitional Cell Carcinoma Stories

A form of kidney cancer that starts in the transitional cells lining of the renal pelvis and ureter.


Kevin R., Transitional Cell Carcinoma



Cancer details: Also known as urothelial (invasive), 5-10% of kidney cancers
1st Symptoms: Blood in urine
Treatment: Nephrectomy (surgical removal of kidney and ureter)
...

Papillary Renal Cell Carcinoma Stories

A form of kidney cancer that begins in the small tubes located in the kidney that filter blood and make urine. The cancer forms small finger-like projections called papillae.


Bill P., Papillary Renal Cell Carcinoma, Stage 3, Type 1



Cancer details: < 10% of kidney cancers
1st Symptoms: Kidney stone, lower back pain, sore/stiff leg, deep vein thrombosis (DVT) blood clot
Treatment: Nephrectomy (surgical removal of kidney and ureter)
...

Chromophobe Renal Cell Carcinoma Stories

A very rare form of kidney cancer that also begins in the small tubes located in the kidney responsible for filtering blood and producing urine. The chromophore cells are larger than papillae and appear pink or clear under a microscope.


Nina N., Chromophome Renal Cell Carcinoma, Stage 2



Cancer details: Rare, 5% of malignant kidney tumors
1st symptoms: Blood in urine, blood clots, intense abdominal pain
Treatment: Partial nephrectomy (surgical removal of right kidney)
...

Kidney Cancer Oncologist & Experts


Dr. Christopher Weight, M.D.



Role: Center Director Urologic Oncology
Focus: Urological oncology, including kidney, prostate, bladder cancers
Provider: Cleveland Clinic

Kidney Cancer Resources

Kidney cancer symptoms

Kidney cancer can be hard to detect as warning signs are slowly developing. Learn about the early signs, symptoms, and diagnosis of kidney cancer from real-life patients.

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