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Screening

There is no UK kidney cancer screening programme. Find out what screening is.

What is screening?

Screening means testing people for early stages of a disease before they have any symptoms. For screening to be useful the tests:

  • need to be reliable at picking up cancers
  • overall must do more good than harm to people taking part
  • must be something that people are willing to do

Screening tests are not perfect and have some risks. The screening programme should also be good value for money for the NHS.

Screening for kidney cancer

At the moment there is no reliable kidney cancer screening test for the general population. So there is no UK kidney cancer screening programme.

Screening for people at higher risk of getting kidney cancer

People who may be at higher risk of developing kidney cancer can sometimes have screening.

If one of the inherited syndromes that increases the risk of kidney cancer runs in your family, you may be offered screening. This means having an ultrasound or MRI scan of your kidneys every year.

There is also a genetic blood test for Von Hippel Lindau syndrome.

Further genetic tests may become available in the future.

Talk to your GP if you think you may be at higher risk of getting kidney cancer.

Last reviewed: 
06 Jan 2016
  • Multi-disciplinary Team (MDT) Guidance for Managing Renal Cancer

    British Association of Urological Surgeons (BAUS): Section of Oncology (British Uro-oncology Group BUG), May 2012 

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