Site Map

Renal pelvis or ureter cancer

Transitional cell cancer of the renal pelvis or ureter; Kidney cancer - renal pelvis; Ureter cancer; Urothelial carcinoma

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

Images

Kidney anatomy

Causes

Cancer can grow in the urine collection system, but it is uncommon. Renal pelvis and ureter cancers affect men more often than women. These cancers are more common in people older than 65.

The exact causes of this cancer are not known. Long-term (chronic) irritation of the kidney from harmful substances removed in the urine may be a factor. This irritation may be caused by:

People who have had bladder cancer are also at risk.

Symptoms

Symptoms may include any of the following:

Exams 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.

If tests are done:

Other tests that may be ordered include:

These tests may reveal a tumor or show that the cancer has spread from the kidneys.

Treatment

The goal of treatment is to eliminate the cancer.

Following procedures may be used to treat the condition:

Support Groups

You can ease the stress of illness by joining a cancer support group. Sharing with others who have common experiences and problems can help you not feel alone.

Outlook (Prognosis)

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

Cancer that has spread to other organs is usually not curable.

Possible Complications

Complications from this cancer may include:

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Contact your provider if you have any of the symptoms listed above.

Prevention

Measures that may help prevent this cancer include:

Related Information

Acute kidney failure

References

Bajorin DF. Tumors of the kidney, bladder, ureters, and renal pelvis. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 26th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 187.

National Cancer Institute website. www.cancer.gov/types/kidney/hp/transitional-cell-treatment-pdq. Updated January 30, 2020. Accessed July 21, 2020.

Wong WW, Daniels TB, Peterson JL, Tyson MD, Tan WW. Kidney and ureteral carcinoma. In: Tepper JE, Foote RL, Michalski JM, eds. Gunderson & Tepper's Clinical Radiation Oncology. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:chap 64.

BACK TO TOP

Review Date: 5/27/2020  

Reviewed By: Todd Gersten, MD, Hematology/Oncology, Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute, Wellington, FL. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

ADAM Quality Logo

A.D.A.M., Inc. is accredited by URAC, for Health Content Provider (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. A.D.A.M. is among the first to achieve this important distinction for online health information and services. Learn more about A.D.A.M.'s editorial policy, editorial process and privacy policy. A.D.A.M. is also a founding member of Hi-Ethics. This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information: verify here.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- 2021 A.D.A.M., a business unit of Ebix, Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

A.D.A.M. content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Firefox and Google Chrome browser.