What is Kidney Cancer?

Reading time: 1 min

The kidneys are the two organs responsible for filtering toxic substances from the blood and eliminating them in the urine. In these organs, tumours may appear on the tissue itself or in the urinary tract. Tumours or lumps originate in cells that line small tubes in the renal cortex called renal tubules. They may be benign or malignant.  

Kidney cancer can be classified into different types based on the tumour cell properties. The most frequent cell type is the so-called "clear cell" and represents around 75% of cases, followed by the papillary type in 15% and the chromophobe type in around 5%. There are other cell subtypes, but at a much lower percentage.  

However, kidney tumours can also be benign, with the most frequent being angiomyolipomas and oncocytomas.  

Kidney Cancer explained in first person

Professionals and patients explain how you live with the disease
Currently, we know of numerous different types of treatments that can be used to control the disease and, as time goes by, there are more and more data on new treatments that are effective
"Yo fui a hacerme la revisión anual y allí me dijeron que me lo tenían que sacar, que tenía un tumor en el riñón derecho."

How many people does kidney cancer affect?

This tumour is more frequent in men than in women (1.5:1) and appears more frequently after 60 or 70 years. Kidney cancer accounts for 2-3% of all cancers and represents 90% of solid tumours originating in the kidney.  

What is Cancer?

General information about Cancer

Read more

Substantiated information by:

Meritxell Casanovas
Mireia Musquera Felip
Oscar Reig Torras

Published: 1 February 2022
Updated: 1 February 2022

The donations that can be done through this webpage are exclusively for the benefit of Hospital Clínic of Barcelona through Fundació Clínic per a la Recerca Biomèdica and not for BBVA Foundation, entity that collaborates with the project of PortalClínic.


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