Introduction of Kidney Cancer | 8 Types of Kidney Cancer


Kidney Cancer is the third most prevalent urologic cancer, accounting for around 2% of all adult malignancies. The most prevalent kind of kidney cancer is renal cell carcinoma, which has numerous subtypes. The majority of diagnosed kidney cancers are contained within the kidney, but the percentage of tumours that have progressed outside the kidney (metastatic kidney cancer) has remained relatively constant over the previous 20 years.

Among other things, kidneys filter waste and regulate blood pressure. The abnormal development of cells that form a mass in the kidney is known as kidney cancer (tumor). Surgery is frequently used to treat the condition.


Age: As you get older, your chances of having kidney cancer rise. Kidney cancer is rare in persons under the age of 45, with an average diagnosis age of 64.

Gender: Men are twice as likely as women to acquire kidney cancer.

Obesity: Carrying too much weight, especially when it’s due to a high-fat diet, raises the chance of kidney cancer.

High Blood Pressure: People with high blood pressure have a higher risk of kidney cancer.

Dialysis: Long-term dialysis, which allows people who don’t have functional kidneys to filter their blood through a machine, increases the risk of kidney cancer.

As you become older, your chances of developing kidney cancer increase. Smoking, having certain hereditary disorders, and long-term misuse of pain medications are all risk factors.

  • It’s possible that you won’t experience any symptoms at first.
  • They may manifest as the disease progresses.
  • If you detect blood in your urine.
  • a lump in your abdomen.
  • weight loss for no apparent cause.
  • pain in your side that does not go away.
  • see your doctor.

What Is Kidney Cancer?

The kidneys are two bean-shaped organs that are part of the urinary tract, which is responsible for removing waste and excess fluid from the body. On either side of the body, they sit slightly below the rib cage and filter blood to create urine. Cancer arises when cells in one or both kidneys get uncontrollably large and form tumours. The malignancy may remain in the kidney or migrate to the adjacent adrenal gland or other organs.

Kidney cancer starts in the kidneys, which are two big bean-shaped organs situated to the left and right of the spine. Kidney cancer is also known as renal cancer.

Kidney Cancer

According to the American Cancer Society, 63,920 new cases of kidney cancer are predicted to be identified in the United States in 2014. In both men and women, kidney cancer is one of the top ten malignancies.

Since the 1970s, the incidence of kidney cancer has been steadily increasing for unknown causes. Part of this might be attributed to the advent of newer imaging tests, such as CT scans, which have detected tumours that would otherwise go undetected. Our highly skilled Urologic Cancer physicians at Stanford Cancer Center treat a wide spectrum of kidney malignancies, including the most advanced tumours, and have a high volume of patients.

Understanding the kidneys

Two bean-shaped organs make up the kidneys. They’re roughly the size of a bar of soap. They take up residence in the body’s middle to lower back. One kidney is located on each side of the spine. The kidneys aid in the removal of waste and excess fluid from the bloodstream.

The fluids and waste are subsequently transported to the bladder via ureters, which are narrow tubes. Urine subsequently exits the body via a tube known as the urethra. Blood pressure is also controlled by the kidneys. They also aid in the production of adequate red blood cells in the body.


Kidney cancer has no recognized aetiology. However, it is thought to be caused by a particular gene mutation that can be inherited or acquired.

Kidney Cancer

The following factors have been related to an increased risk of kidney cancer:

  • Smoking.
  • Obesity.
  • Regular contact with some chemicals.
  • Kidney cancer in the family.
  • Blood pressure that is too high.
  • A number of medicines.
  • Kidney disease has progressed to an advanced stage.

Nongenetic variables such as smoking and obesity may be able to reduce a person’s chance of getting kidney cancer.

Signs and symptoms

The majority of patients with kidney cancer have no symptoms, and many are identified after they go to the doctor for something unrelated. Symptoms, on the other hand, might include:

  • Haematuria (blood in the urine) – this may be evident.
  • Alternatively, the urine may seem black, rusty, or brown.
  • Pain in the lower back or side that isn’t the result of an injury.
  • The presence of an abdominal bulge.
  • Constant exhaustion.
  • Weight loss that isn’t explained.
  • Febrile illness (not caused by a cold or flu).

8 Types of Kidney Cancer

Kidney Cancer

1. Renal Cell Carcinoma (RCC)

Renal Cell Carcinoma is the most prevalent form of adult kidney cancer, accounting for around 85% of cases. The proximal renal tubules, which make up the kidney’s filtration system, are where this form of cancer originates. Each kidney has thousands of these small filtering units. Renal cell carcinoma therapy options are addressed later in this book.

2. Transitional Cell Carcinoma (TCC)

TCC is a rare type of kidney cancer that affects the transitional cells in the urinary system. It is also known as urothelial cancer or renal pelvis carcinoma. TCC is a frequent kind of bladder cancer because transitional cells are distributed throughout the urinary system. TCC often affects the renal pelvis, which is located in the middle of the kidney.

3. Papillary RCC

The second most prevalent kind of RCC is papillary RCC, also known as Type 1 papillary renal cell carcinoma, which is more common among African Americans. These tumours have projections that look like tiny fingers (called papillae).

4. Sarcoma

Kidney Sarcoma is an uncommon cancer. This form of cancer originates in the kidney’s soft tissue, the capsule, a thin layer of connective tissue that surrounds the kidney, or the surrounding fat. Surgery is generally used to treat renal sarcoma. Sarcoma, on the other hand, frequently returns in the kidney area or spreads to other parts of the body. Following the first operation, further surgery or chemotherapy may be needed.

5. Rare types of RCC 

Collecting duct RCC, multilocular cystic RCC, medullary carcinoma, mucinous tubular and spindle cell carcinoma, neuroblastoma-associated RCC, and renal oncocytoma are some of the more uncommon forms of RCC (benign kidney tumor).

6. Transitional Cell Carcinoma

Approximately 6% to 7% of all kidney malignancies are transitional cell carcinomas. The ureter’s connection to the major portion of the kidney is where this cancer generally starts. The renal pelvis is the name for this part of your body. The ureters and bladder can also develop transitional cell cancer.

7. Wilms’ Tumor

Kidney cancer in children is the most prevalent form. It is responsible for roughly 5% of all kidney malignancies.

8. Lymphoma

Lymphoma can enlarge both kidneys and is linked to lymphadenopathy, or enlargement of lymph nodes in other areas of the body, such as the neck, chest, and abdomen.

Kidney lymphoma can present as a single tumour mass in the kidney, with enlarged regional lymph nodes in rare instances. If lymphoma is suspected, your doctor may suggest chemotherapy rather than surgery after a biopsy (see Diagnosis).


Kidney cancer can be treated using a variety of approaches. The optimal therapy for each patient is determined by the disease’s severity and location. Surgery is frequently the most effective treatment since it is the only way to completely remove the tumour During surgery, the tumour or the whole kidney might be removed.

Surgery may not be an option for certain people. Less intrusive therapies for these individuals are available, and they may include the following:

  • Cryoablation
  • Ablation using radiofrequency
  • Biological treatment
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