types of cancer can develop in the kidney. This booklet discusses
renal cell cancer, the most common form of kidney cancer in adults.
Transitional cell cancer (carcinoma), which affects the renal pelvis,
is a less common form of kidney cancer. It is similar to cancer that
occurs in the bladder and is often treated like bladder cancer. Wilms'
tumor, the most common type of childhood kidney cancer, is different
from kidney cancer in adults. The Cancer Information Service can provide
information about transitional cell cancer and Wilms' tumor.
As kidney cancer grows, it may invade organs near the kidney, such
as the liver, colon, or pancreas. Kidney cancer cells may also break
away from the original tumor and spread (metastasize) to other parts
of the body. When kidney cancer spreads, cancer cells may appear in
the lymph nodes. For this reason, lymph nodes near the kidney may
be removed during surgery. If the pathologist finds cancer cells in
the lymph nodes, it may mean that the disease has spread to other
parts of the body. Kidney cancer may spread and form new tumors, most
often in the bones or lungs. The new tumors have the same kind of
abnormal cells and the same name as the original (primary) tumor in
the kidney. For example, if kidney cancer spreads to the lungs, the
cancer cells in the lungs are kidney cancer cells. The disease is
metastatic kidney cancer; it is not lung cancer