Adult kidney cancer comes in two main types. Technically these are called renal cell carcinoma and transitional cell carcinoma. They arise from the tissue fo the kidney and of the urine collecting part of the kidney respectively. Both are more common in men and both are more commonly found in cigarette smokers.
The disease presents with haematuria or blood in the urine. This can either be seen with the naked eye (termed macroscopic) or can only be seen with a microscope (microscopic). GP's often test the urine with a small stick, this finds the breakdown products of blood in the urine, it is only significant if blood is seen under the microscope in addition.
The treatment of both types of kidney cancer is the same. The only cure is to remove the kidney. For a description of this please see the specific operations section of the site.
Before surgery however your doctor will need to make a diagnosis. The initial diagnosis is made by checking the bladder with a small telescope and performing a scan or x-ray of the kidneys. Once a growth is found a CT scan (whole body X-Ray) is used to check the position, size and possible spread of the cancer. If all is favourable then surgery will be performed.
If the cancer is found in time then cure is possible if the kidney is removed.
What to do if you see blood in you urine
Do not panic, a little blood goes long way
Drink plenty of water to dilute the blood
Make an appointment to see your GP
If you are unable to pass water but are desperate to go then call for the emergency doctor or attend accident and emergency
Remember most people do not have a serious cause for bleeding but you will need to be seen at the hospital to be investigated