Kidney cancer

At the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness & Research Centre we know that a cancer diagnosis is a life changing event. We also know that every cancer is different, just like every person is different. We are dedicated to supporting and guiding you throughout your care. On this page you can learn about symptoms of kidney cancer and the potential treatment pathway.

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What is kidney cancer?

Kidney cancer is uncontrolled growth of abnormal kidney cells and almost always affects just one kidney. It is often found by accident during routine tests for other conditions. Ninety percent of kidney cancers are renal cell carcinoma. Renal cells line the small tubes within the kidney that filter urine. Renal cell carcinoma is abnormal cell growth that starts in the lining of these tubes. Other types of cancers in the kidney are rare and your treatment will depend on exactly what type of cancer you have. 

What are the symptoms of kidney cancer?

If you have any of the following symptoms please see your doctor. These symptoms may also occur for ailments other than cancer. 


Your doctor will advise if you need tests and where you should go to have these tests. 


  • Visible blood in the urine
  • Darkening of the urine
  • Unexplained lower back pain
  • Abdominal pain
  • Lump in the abdomen or flank
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Swelling of your arms or legs
  • Constant exhaustion
  • Unexplained fever
  • Weight loss
This information should not be used to replace medical advice.

Can I be treated at the ONJ Centre?

Once you have been diagnosed with cancer, your doctor or specialist can make a referral to the ONJ Centre for your cancer treatment. You can ask to be referred here, regardless of your insurance status or the stage of your treatment. The ONJ Centre is part of Austin Health, a leading Australian public hospital.

how to get a referral