Because the kidneys are deep in the body, it is not easy to feel a lump in the kidney or see from the outside what is happening beneath the surface.
Often kidney cancer is found by accident — “an incidental finding” — when the doctor does a scan for another reason and notices something on the kidney. This is actually a good thing, as it may identify a problem early, before you even notice it.
Once kidney cancer is suspected for any reason, additional tests will be needed to determine just what is happening.
There is an excellent discussion of the kinds of tests used to diagnose kidney cancer at
Kidney Health Australia
The following poster was created by Dr. Raymond Kim and colleagues at the Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto, Canada, to help patients and physicians decide when to consider that the cause may be a hereditary one. Full investigation could not only help in determining how to approach care for the current tumor under study, but could assist in managing the health of this patient by watching carefully for other possible aspects to one of these hereditary conditions.