Primary renal malignancies are relatively rare in young adults. Eighteen patients between the ages of twenty and forty years underwent nephrectomy for renal tumors at our institution between 1947 and 1989. Data were reviewed in this group regarding method of presentation, duration of symptoms, tumor histology, pathologic stage, and survival. Tumor histology parallels that of older patients, the majority being adenocarcinoma (78%). The duration of symptoms prior to seeking medical attention was long, averaging eighty-four weeks. The overall survival rate, excluding nontumor deaths, was 50 percent. No patient with nodal or distant metastases survived, regardless of histology.