Cancer Research UK on Google+ Cancer Research UK on Facebook Cancer Research UK on Twitter

Types of kidney cancer

Men and women discussing kidney cancer

This page is about the different types of kidney cancer. There is information about

 

A quick guide to what's on this page

Renal cell cancer

Renal cell cancer is the most common type of kidney cancer in adults. More than 8 in every 10 (80%) kidney cancers diagnosed in the UK are this type. The kidney cancer information in this section is mainly about renal cell cancers. Renal cell cancer is also called renal adenocarcinoma or hypernephroma. In renal cell cancer the cancerous cells start in the lining of the kidney tubules (the smallest tubes inside the nephrons) that help to filter the blood and make urine.

There are several different types of renal cell cancer. The most common is called clear cell. All types of renal cell cancer are treated in the same way.

Other types of kidney cancer

Another type of kidney cancer is called transitional cell cancer (TCC) of the renal pelvis. It is less common. About 7 or 8 out of every 100 (7 to 8 %) kidney cancers diagnosed in the UK are TCCs. The treatment for this type of kidney cancer is similar to the treatment for bladder cancer.

A type of kidney cancer called Wilms' tumour can affect children. This is different from kidney cancer in adults.

 

CR PDF Icon You can view and print the quick guides for all the pages in the About kidney cancer section.

 

 

Renal cell cancer

Renal cell cancer is the most common type of kidney cancer in adults. More than 8 in every 10 (80%) kidney cancers diagnosed in the UK are this type. This kidney cancer section is mainly about renal cell cancers. Renal cell cancer is also called renal adenocarcinoma or hypernephroma. In renal cell cancer the cancerous cells start in the lining of the tubules (the smallest tubes inside the nephrons) that help filter the blood and make urine.

There are several types of renal cell cancer. They can be identified by looking at the cancer cells under a microscope. The main ones are:

  • Clear cell
  • Papillary (Types 1 and 2)
  • Chromophobe
  • Oncocytic
  • Collecting duct

All these types of renal cell cancer may also occur in a different form, known as sarcomatoid type.

Clear cell cancer is the most common type of renal cell cancer. The others are much less common. Often kidney cancers contain more than one of these cell types. If a kidney cancer is a sarcomatoid type it may have a worse outlook than non sarcomatous kidney cancers. 

There is more information about sarcomatoid renal cancer in the kidney cancer questions and answers section.

 

Other types of kidney cancer

Another type of kidney cancer is called transitional cell cancer (TCC) of the renal pelvis. The renal pelvis is the central area of the kidney where urine collects before it goes down the ureter to the bladder. About 7 or 8 out of every 100 (7 to 8 %) kidney cancers diagnosed in the UK are TCCs. The treatment for this type of kidney cancer is similar to the treatment for bladder cancer.

A type of kidney cancer called Wilms' tumour can affect children. This is different from kidney cancer in adults. 

There is detailed information about transitional cell cancer of the renal pelvis (TCC) and Wilm's tumours in the question and answers section.

Rate this page:
Submit rating

 

Rated 4 out of 5 based on 14 votes
Rate this page
Rate this page for no comments box
Please enter feedback to continue submitting
Send feedback
Question about cancer? Contact our information nurse team

No Error

Updated: 6 January 2014