Kidney Cancer: Medical Illustrations

Approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 09/2022

ON THIS PAGE: You will find a drawing of the kidneys. Use the menu to see other pages.

Illustration of the kidneys in the body.

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. 

The next section in this guide is Risk Factors and PreventionIt describes the factors that may increase the chance of developing kidney cancer and what people can do to lower their risk. Use the menu to choose a different section to read in this guide.