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There are two main sub-types of kidney cancer:

  • Renal cell carcinomas begin in the parenchyma of the kidney.
  • Urothelial carcinoma arises in the lining of the kidney and/or ureter. 

Each sub-type has unique DNA changes and is treated with different surgical and biological therapies. Our research team has developed much of the basic science about the differences between sub-types. 

Blood in the urine, pain in the flank or a mass felt on physical examination are typical indications a person may have cancer. However, far more common conditions, like urinary tract infections, kidney stones, kidney cysts, or other medical problems, can cause these symptoms as well. The majority of kidney cancers are now detected using ultrasound, CT or MRI scans performed for reasons that may or may not be related to kidney symptoms.