Alternate Names : Transitional cell cancer of the renal pelvis or ureter
Cancer of the renal pelvis or ureter is cancer that forms in the pelvis or the tube that carries urine from the kidney to the bladder.
Overview, Causes, & 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.
Pictures & Images
The kidneys are responsible for removing wastes from the body, regulating electrolyte balance and blood pressure, and stimulating red blood cell production.
Review Date : 11/30/2009
Reviewed By : David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; Herbert Y. Lin, MD, PHD, Nephrologist, Massachusetts General Hospital; Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.