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Kidney Cancer

Overview :

The kidneys are a pair of organs shaped like kidney beans that lie on either side of the spine just above the waist. Inside each kidney are tiny tubes (tubules) that filter and clean the blood, taking out the waste products and making urine. The urine that is made by the kidney passes through a tube called the ureter into the bladder. Urine is held in the bladder until it is discharged from the body. Renal cell carcinoma generally develops in the lining of the tubules that filter and clean the blood. Cancer that develops in the central portion of the kidney (where the urine is collected and drained into the ureters) is known as transitional cell cancer of the renal pelvis. Transitional cell cancer is similar to bladder cancer.

Kidney cancer accounts for approximately 2-3% of all cancers. In the United States, kidney cancer is the tenth most common cancer and the incidence has increased by 43% since 1973; the death rate has increased by 16%. According to the American Cancer Society, 35,710 Americans were diagnosed with kidney cancer in 2004, and 12,480 died from the disease. RCC accounts for 90-95% of malignant neoplasms that originate from the kidney.

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