Renal Pelvis & Ureter Cancer: Patient Education

Cancer Facts

According to the American Cancer Society:

  • There will be almost 61,000 new cases of kidney cancer this year (renal cell and renal pelvis & ureter).

According to the National Cancer Institute:

  • Transitional cell carcinoma of the renal pelvis accounts for only 7 percent of all kidney tumors and transitional cell cancer of the ureter accounts for only 1 of every 25 upper-tract tumors.
  • Transitional cell carcinoma of the renal pelvis and ureter is curable in more than 90 percent of cases if it’s confined to the renal pelvis or ureter.

Overview

A type of kidney cancer, renal pelvis and ureter cancer is a malignant tumor that forms in your renal pelvis or ureter. Your renal pelvis is located at the top of your ureter. Your ureter is the long tube connecting your kidney to your bladder.

Approximately 90 percent of renal pelvis and ureter cancers can be cured if found as early-stage cancers.

Kristofer R. Wagner, MD, Urology; Director – Robotic Surgery

How Renal Pelvis & Ureter Cancer Grows

Cancer of the renal pelvis and ureter is kidney cancer that forms in the tube that carries urine from the kidney to the bladder.

Your renal pelvis and ureters are lined with transitional cells. Cancer of the renal pelvis and ureter starts in these cells. Generally, tumors of the renal pelvis and ureter are transitional cell cancers. Occasionally, they’re squamous cell carcinomas.

Cancer of the renal pelvis and ureter is much less common than renal cell carcinoma.

Renal pelvis and ureter cancer is similar to bladder cancer and is treated in much the same way.

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