Cancer - renal pelvis or ureter - Overview
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.
Tumors of the renal pelvis and ureter are usually transitional cell cancers. Approximately 10% are squamous cell carcinomas.
The causes of this cancer are not completely 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:
- Analgesic nephropathy
- Exposure to certain dyes and chemicals used to manufacture leather goods, textiles, plastics, and rubber
Patients with a history of bladder cancer are also at risk.
- Reviewed last on: 6/2/2010
- 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.
Bajorin DF. Tumors of the kidney, bladder, ureters, and renal pelvis. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 207.
National Comprehensive Cancer Network. Clinical practice guidelines in oncology. Bladder Cancer, including Upper Tract Tumors and Urothelial Carcinoma of the Prostate. v.2.2010.
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. Call 911 for all
medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not
constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997-
A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is
© 2011 University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC). All rights reserved.
UMMC is a member of the University of Maryland Medical System,
22 S. Greene Street, Baltimore, MD 21201. TDD: 1-800-735-2258 or 1.866.408.6885