There are several types of kidney cancer:

Renal Cell Carcinoma

There are two subtypes of renal cell carcinoma: clear cell and non-clear cell.

Among renal cell carcinomas, the clear cell subtype is the most common, occurring in about 7 out of 10 people with this kind of cancer, according to the American Cancer Society.

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On the other hand, non-clear clear cell renal cell carcinoma is comprised of papillary (type 1 and 2) and chromophobe subtypes. Papillary non-clear cell is the second most common type of renal cell carcinoma, of which type 1 tumors are considered slower growing and type 2 tumors are faster growing. Chromophobe non-clear cell accounts for just 5 out of every 100 cases of renal cell carcinoma.

Further, other rare subtypes of non-clear clear cell disease, comprising less than 1% of cases, are collecting duct renal cell carcinoma, multilocular cystic renal cell carcinoma, medullary carcinoma, mucinous tubular and spindle cell carcinoma, neuroblastoma-associated renal cell carcinoma and unclassified renal cell carcinoma.

Transitional Cell Carcinoma

Transitional cell carcinoma is also known as urothelial carcinoma, which begins in the part of the kidney, called the renal pelvis, where urine collects before moving to the bladder. This type of kidney cancer is treated like bladder cancer because both types begin in the same cells, called transitional cells, that line the renal pelvis and bladder, according to the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

Wilms Tumor

Wilms tumor, also known as nephroblastoma, typically occurs in children, but can be very rare among adults. This type of disease makes up only about 1% of kidney cancers, according to the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

Renal Sarcoma

Also a rare subtype, renal sarcoma begins in the blood vessels or connective tissue of the kidney, making up less than 1% of kidney cancers.