Cancer – renal pelvis or ureter

Alternative Names

Transitional cell cancer of the renal pelvis or ureter

Definition of Cancer – renal pelvis or ureter

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

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Cancer can grow in the urine collection system, but is uncommon. As a group, renal pelvis and ureter cancers account for no more than 5% of all cancers of the kidney and upper urinary tract. They affect men more often than women and are more common in people older than 65.

Signs and tests

The health care provider will perform a physical exam, and examine your belly area (abdomen). In rare cases, this may reveal an enlarged kidney.

Treatment

The goal of treatment is to eliminate the cancer.

Expectations (prognosis)

The outcome varies depending on the location of the tumor and whether the cancer has spread. Cancer that is only in the kidney or ureter can be cured with surgery.

Review

David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; Yi-Bin Chen, MD, Leukemia/Bone Marrow Transplant Program, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 6/2/2010

Kidney anatomy

ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

Article written by

A.D.A.M., Inc. is accredited by URAC, also known as the American Accreditation HealthCare Commission (www.urac.org). URAC's accreditation program is an independent audit to verify that A.D.A.M. follows rigorous standards of quality and accountability.