Kidney Cancer: Medical Illustrations

Approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 08/2016

ON THIS PAGE: You will find a basic drawing of the kidneys. To see other pages, use the menu.

Every person has 2 kidneys, which are located above the waist on both sides of the spine. These reddish-brown, bean-shaped organs are each about the size of a small fist. They are located closer to the back of the body than to the front. The renal artery brings blood to the kidney and branches into the multi-sectioned medulla. Surrounding the medulla is the cortex. The renal pelvis is the broad opening at the top of the ureter. The renal pelvis connects the center of the kidney to the ureter, which connects to the bladder. Copyright 2004 American Society of Clinical Oncology. Robert Morreale/Visual Explanations, LLC.

For medical illustrations showing the different stages of kidney cancer, visit the Stages section.

The next section in this guide is Risk Factors and Prevention. It explains what factors may increase the chance of developing this disease and what people can do to lower their risk. Or, use the menu to choose another section to continue reading this guide.