Virginia Commonwealth University

VCU Massey Cancer Center

What is kidney cancer?

Most cancers are named after the part of the body where the cancer first begins, and kidney cancer is no exception. Kidney cancer begins in the kidneys, two large, bean-shaped organs — one located to the left, and the other to the right of the backbone. Renal is the Latin word for kidney, and kidney cancer also may be referred to as renal cancer. The most common type is called renal cell cancer.