Kidney cancer is one of the top 10 most common cancers in men and women. Each year, more than 60,000 Americans are diagnosed with kidney cancer. It’s more common in men, especially those in their 50s to 70s who are or were smokers.
There are 4 different types of kidney cancer:
- Renal cell carcinoma (RCC): This is the most common form of adult kidney cancer (about 85% of cases). RCC usually starts as a single tumor in one kidney, but it can affect both your kidneys and spread (metastasize) to other organs. It begins in the cells that line the small tubes that are part of the nephrons within your kidneys.
- Transitional cell carcinoma: This form of kidney cancer usually begins in the area where a ureter connects to the main part of a kidney (called the renal pelvis). This cancer represents 6 to 7% of all kidney cancers and can also grow in your ureters or bladder.
- Renal sarcoma: The least common form of kidney cancer (1% of cases), renal sarcoma begins in the connective tissues of your kidney. If left untreated, it can spread to nearby organs and bones.
- Wilms’ tumor: The most common type of kidney cancer in children, it accounts for approximately 5% of total patients with kidney cancer.