Kidney Cancer FAQs

Kidney Cancer Questions & Answers

Kidney cancer isn’t talked about the same way other cancers are, perhaps because it affects fewer people each year than breast or prostate cancer. Below are several frequently asked questions about kidney cancer.

A renal mass is an abnormal growth in the kidney. Not all renal masses are cancerous, and those that aren’t cancerous tend to be smaller. Additionally, some renal masses are called pre-cancerous, meaning that they’re not currently cancerous but are at risk to become cancerous.

Kidney cancer isn’t strictly genetic, but a family history of renal cancer does increase your risk. This is especially true if your sibling has renal cancer.

Though it depends on the type, kidney cancer generally spreads most quickly during the early stages. The speed of cancer cell growth also depends on factors like age, general health and genetic history.

With new technology, kidney cancer is being diagnosed at earlier and more curable stages. Fortunately, around 80% of patients with earlier stages of kidney cancer survive for at least five years after diagnosis. Later stages of kidney cancer are more difficult to treat, therefore survival rates are lower.

Kidney cancer is less common than other types of cancer, accounting for about 2 - 3% of cancer cases in the United States.