Renal cell cancer is one of the most common forms of kidney cancer originating at the very small tubes in the kidney that perform the job of filtering the blood and removing waste. Renal cancer is usually divided into four stages based on the size of the tumor and its spread in and around kidney. Renal cancer stages are divided into four stages, in stage I and II the tumor is either less than or greater than 7 centimeters respectively but it is usually restricted to the kidney. In stage III of renal cancer the tumor may be of any size and is found in the kidney and in the lymph nodes or in the blood vessels of the kidney or even in the fatty tissue around the kidney. In stage IV the cancer spreads beyond the fatty tissue to adrenal gland and other organs like bones, liver, lungs, brain and even lymph nodes around the kidney.

There are various causes of renal cell cancer and the risks are increased by the factors like smoking, obesity, workplace dangers like exposure to asbestos and cadmium. Genetic factors, diet, long term kidney problems and age and even gender also increase the risks associated with renal cancer as it has been observed that it is twice as common in men as in women.

Renal cancer exhibits a wide range of symptoms depending on the area of the body affected by it, most common symptoms being blood in urine, mass in the abdominal region and flank pain. These symptoms rarely occur together and whenever these symptoms are present at the same time it usually indicates an advanced stage of cancer. Usually renal cancer does not exhibit any symptoms and is many times it is detected accidentally while imaging is performed for unrelated causes. Some of the common symptoms of renal cell cancer include general feeling of discomfort or uneasiness, weight loss, anorexia, increase in the concentration of red blood cells, increase in the level of calcium in the body and anemia. Other common symptoms include constipation, high blood pressure, recurring high fever, back pain, fatigue, intolerance to cold and swelling of ankle and legs amongst others.

The number of people affected with renal cancer has increased in the recent decades. The cancer is far better understood today and the causes and risks have been well understood than they were previously. The symptoms of renal cancer can many times be detected quite late considering its asymptomatic nature.