Kidney cancer begins in the cells of the kidney. The types are based on the type of cells where the cancer starts. A biopsy can confirm the type you have. The type affects your choices for treatment. These are the main types of kidney cancer.

Renal cell carcinoma. This cancer begins in a part of the kidney called the renal tubule. About 9 out of 10 people with kidney cancer have this type. These are the subtypes of renal cell carcinoma.

  • Clear cell

  • Papillary

  • Chromophobe

  • Oncocytoma

  • Collecting duct

Transitional cell carcinoma. This cancer begins in the place where the kidney and ureter meet. The ureter is the tube that carries urine from the kidney to the bladder. About 1 out of 10 people with kidney cancer have this type.

Other kidney cancers. Two other kinds of kidney cancer are Wilms’ tumor and renal sarcoma. Wilms’ tumor occurs mostly in children.

Medical Reviewer: [Appleman, Leonard J. MD, Rick AlteriRick Alteri MD, Wood, Laura RN, MSN, OCN] Last Annual Review Date: 2008-02-21T00:00:00-07:00 Copyright: © 2007 CancerSource, 280 Summer Street, 9th Floor, Boston, MA 02210. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare provider's instructions.