American Family Children's Hospital

Contact the University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center


About Kidney Cancer

Cancer Connect

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Kidney Cancer Providers

The UW Prostate and Genitourinary Cancer Program (UWPGCP) and the University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center, the state's only comprehensive cancer center, use a multidisciplinary approach to treat kidney cancer or renal cell cancer.


Types of Kidney Cancer


Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is the most common type of kidney cancer. More than 80 percent of kidney cancers are renal cell carcinoma. There are multiple subtypes:

  • Clear cell
  • Papillary
  • Chromophobe
  • Collecting duct RCC

Other common benign and malignant primary masses of the kidney include

  • Urothelial carcinoma (transitional cell carcinoma)
  • Angiomyolipoma
  • Oncocytoma
  • Wilm's tumor



Most kidney tumors do not cause symptoms until they are large. Many persons have kidney tumors diagnosed by CT scan, MRI or ultrasound that was ordered for another inquiry. When kidney tumors grow larger they may produce symptoms like pain, blood in the urine (hematuria), fevers, weight loss and fatigue.


If you suspect you may have a kidney tumor, you should be evaluated by a physician.


Risk Factors


The most commonly recognized risk factor for renal cell carcinoma is smoking. There are also several genetic syndromes which are associated with increased risk of renal cell carcinoma, with the most common being von Hippel Lindau disease (VHL, a hereditary disease that affects the capillaries of the brain, eyes, and other body parts). If you have been diagnosed with VHL, you should be screened for kidney tumors.