Most people have two kidneys. They sit at the back of the body, one on each side, just underneath the ribcage. The kidneys filter the blood and remove waste products, which they convert into urine.
Image 1. Anatomy of the Kidney
Kidney cancer is more common in people over 60 and rarely affects people under 40. Usually only one kidney is affected, and it’s rare for cancer to affect both kidneys.
There are different types of kidney cancer. About 90% of kidney cancers are renal cell cancers (RCC). They start in the cells that line very small tubes, called tubules, in the kidney cortex. There are different types of renal cell cancer. The most common type is clear cell renal cancer. Less common types are papillary, chromophobe and collecting duct renal cancer.
Surgery is often the only treatment that is required. The most appropriate type of surgery for your situation will depend on the size of the cancer and whether or not it has spread, as well as your age and general health.
Image 2. Healthy kidney (A) and Kidney with Cancer in the upper pole (B).