About Kidney Cancer
The kidneys are two bean-shaped organs located on either side of the spine just below the rib cage. Each kidney is made up of over a million blood-filtering units called nephrons that work to clear the blood of impurities to make urine. The nephrons connect to collecting ducts, which then drain urine into the renal pelvis, a funnel-shaped area than then connects to the ureters, tubes that connect each kidney to the bladder. When kidney cancer develops in the portion of kidney that filters the blood it is called a renal cortical tumor, and when cancer develops in the part of the kidney that collects urine, the renal pelvis, it is called a urothelial cancer.
This page will describe renal cortical tumors, for information on urothelial cancer, please see our page on bladder cancer.