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Kidney Cancer

  • Posted: 01/19/2011

About This Booklet

This National Cancer Institute (NCI) booklet (NIH Publication No. 10-1569) is about cancer that starts in the kidney. Other names for this disease are renal cancer and renal cell carcinoma.

In 2013, more than 60,000 Americans will be diagnosed with renal cell carcinoma. Most will be over 55 years old.

This booklet is only about renal cell carcinoma. It’s not about transitional cell cancer (TCC) of the kidney. People with TCC of the kidney have different treatment options than those with renal cell carcinoma. For the latest information about TCC, visit NCI’s Web site at transitionalcell or contact NCI’s Cancer Information Service at 1–800–4–CANCER (1–800–422–6237). About 4,000 Americans are diagnosed with TCC of the kidney each year.

Also, this booklet is not about childhood kidney cancer. Treatment options are different for children. For the latest information about childhood kidney cancer, visit NCI’s Web site at or contact NCI’s Cancer Information Service. Hundreds of children are diagnosed with kidney cancer each year in the United States.

Learning about medical care for kidney cancer can help you take an active part in making choices about your care. This booklet tells about:

  • Diagnosis and staging
  • Treatment and follow-up care
  • Taking part in research studies

This booklet has lists of questions that you may want to ask your doctor. Many people find it helpful to take a list of questions to a doctor visit. To help remember what your doctor says, you can take notes. You may also want to have a family member or friend go with you when you talk with the doctor—to take notes, ask questions, or just listen.