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Diagnosis

See a GP if you have symptoms of kidney cancer. They will do some simple checks and can refer you for further tests if necessary.

Seeing a GP

The GP may:

These checks may help diagnose or rule out some possible causes of your symptoms, such as a urinary tract infection (UTI).

If the GP thinks you need further assessment, they can refer you to a hospital specialist. If you need to be referred urgently, you'll usually be seen within 2 weeks.

Tests for kidney cancer

These tests can confirm or rule out kidney cancer. If you have cancer, they can help show whether it has spread to other parts of your body.

The tests you might have include:

Stages of kidney cancer

If you're diagnosed with kidney cancer, it will usually be given a "stage". This is a number that describes how far the cancer has spread.

Doctors use the TNM system to stage kidney cancer. This consists of 3 numbers:

Cancer Research UK has more information about the stages of kidney cancer.

Coping with the diagnosis

Being diagnosed with cancer can be very distressing. The news can be difficult to take in and make sense of.

Talking to your friends or family may help, although you might also find it useful to speak to a counsellor, a psychiatrist or other people in a similar situation to you.

Cancer UK has more information and advice on coping with kidney cancer.