Renal Tumours


The vast majority of solid renal masses are malignant.

Most are renal cell carcinomas. Renal cell carcinoma, renal adenocarcinoma and hypernephroma are all synonymous.


  • The classical triad of gross haematuria, flank pain and a palpable flank mass is present in less than 10% of patients
  • Most renal tumour are found incidentally on abdominal ultrasounds or CT scans done for other reasons
  • Any solid renal mass is malignant until proven otherwise.
    • There are some benign renal tumours but they are rare and the diagnosis is usually made pathologically after the kidney has been removed
  • The work up of a renal mass includes a CT scan of the abdomen and a CXR.
    • Other investigations sometimes required include a bone scan, angiography, venocavagram and Doppler ultrasound


Ensure all are follow up by both the GP and urology teams.

Treatment is with surgery - radical nephrectomy.

Chemotherapy and radiotherapy have been shown to be of little benefit.

Content by Dr Íomhar O' Sullivan 29/11/2004. Reviewed by Dr ÍOS 26/05/2006. Last review Dr ÍOS 13/12/21.