If a patient has symptoms that could be kidney cancer, the doctor will test for fever and high blood pressure, check general signs of health, and feel the side and abdomen for lumps. You also will likely have one or more of the following tests:

Urine Test - Urine is checked for blood and other signs of disease.

Blood Test - Blood is checked for levels of several substances, including creatinine, to make sure the kidneys are doing their job.

Intravenous Pyelogram (IVP) - Dye injected into the vein travels through the body to the kidneys and shows up on x-rays. Dye can then be tracked and x-rays can show tumors or other kidney problems.

CT Scan (CAT scan) - An x-ray machine takes detailed pictures of the kidneys and can show kidney tumors.

Ultrasound - Sound waves and a computer are used to create a picture of the kidneys, which can show a solid tumor or cyst.

Biopsy - A thin needle is inserted into the kidney to remove a small amount of tissue. A pathologist looks at the sample of tissue under a microscope to check for cancer cells.

Surgery - In most cases, this is not necessary for diagnosis, but sometimes part or all of the kidney is surgically removed and examined by a pathologist for final diagnosis.

Once the results from the test or procedure are returned you will be able to make thoughtful decisions. Please see Newly Diagnosed  for information on being patient active, treatment decisions, partnering with your healthcare team and finding support. 

Receiving a cancer diagnosis is difficult. Please see Caregivers and/or Online Support for more information on how the Cancer Support Community can offer support.

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