Skip to Main Content
Male patient speaking with his physician

What is kidney cancer?

Kidney cancer, also known as renal cell carcinoma, is a type of cancer that begins in the kidneys. The kidneys are two bean-shaped organs located in the lower back that filter waste from the blood and produce urine. While kidney cancer is relatively rare, it is important to be aware of potential risk factors and symptoms. Speak with your primary care provider if you have any questions or concerns

What causes kidney cancer?

While the exact cause of kidney cancer is unknown, several risk factors can increase the likelihood of developing the disease. These risk factors include:


Some steps you can take to lower your risk of developing kidney cancer include drinking plenty of water and cutting back on salt

Kidney cancer symptoms

In its early stages, kidney cancer often does not cause any symptoms. As the cancer grows, however, it can produce a range of symptoms, including:

  • Blood in the urine
  • Pain in the back or side that does not go away
  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Anemia
  • Swelling in the legs or ankles


Diagnosing kidney cancer

While there is no routine screening test for kidney cancer, some people who are at high risk of developing the disease may benefit from regular monitoring. Screening options may include:


Kidney cancer treatment

The most common treatment for kidney cancer is surgery to remove the affected kidney or part of the kidney. In some cases, other treatments may be used, including:

  • Radiation therapy
  • Targeted therapy
  • Immunotherapy


An oncologist may use a combination of treatments to care for kidney cancer.

The multidisciplinary team at St. Luke’s Health—consisting of oncologists, primary care providers, radiologists, and other specialists—works with patients to recommend a treatment plan customized to their specific situation. Talk to your primary care provider for more information.

Cervical cancer is a type of cancer that develops in the cervix, which is the lower part of the uterus. It often develops slowly and may not show any symptoms in its early stages. However, if left untreated, it can spread to other parts of the body.

Cervical cancer risk factors

Several factors can increase the risk of developing cervical cancer. Some of the most common ones are:

  • HPV infection
  • Having the first full-term pregnancy before the age of 17
  • Having three or more full-term pregnancies
  • Long-term use of birth control pills
  • Smoking
  • Weak immune system
  • Family history

Cervical cancer symptoms

In the early stages, cervical cancer may not cause any symptoms. However, as the cancer grows and spreads, the following symptoms may occur:

  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding, such as bleeding between periods, after sex, or after menopause
  • Pain during sex
  • Unusual vaginal discharge
  • Pelvic pain
  • Periods that are longer or heavier than normal

Cervical cancer screenings and diagnosis

Regular screening is crucial for detecting cervical cancer early, when it is most treatable. The following screening options are available:

Cervical cancer treatment

The treatment for cervical cancer depends on several factors, including the stage of the cancer, the woman's age and overall health, and whether she wants to have children in the future. Your oncologist may recommend one or more of the following treatment options:

  • Surgery
  • Radiation therapy
  • Chemotherapy

If you or a loved one has concerns about cervical cancer, speak with an oncologist for more information. Our team of oncologists at St. Luke’s Health is trained to diagnose and treat cervical cancer and can provide you with personalized recommendations. Speak with your primary care provider about any questions or concerns you may have about cervical cancer, as early detection and treatment can greatly improve your chances of recovery.

Find a Doctor

Looking for a doctor? Perform a quick search by name or browse by specialty.

U.S. News & World Report

Home of the Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center, one of only three NCI-Designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers in Texas, U.S. News & World Report has accredited Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center as one of the best hospitals for several specialties, including previous accreditation for compassionate patient-centered cancer care.