Decorative image

Screening

There is no kidney screening programme in the UK.

What is screening?

Screening means testing people for early stages of a disease. This is 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 people at higher risk of getting kidney cancer

People who are at a higher risk of developing kidney cancer can sometimes have screening. There are some inherited syndromes that run in families. You may be offered screening if you have one of these. 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.