If cancer of the renal pelvis or ureter spreads

Cancer cells can spread from the renal pelvis or ureter to other parts of the body. This spread is called metastasis.

Understanding how a type of cancer usually grows and spreads helps your healthcare team plan your treatment and future care. If cancer of the renal pelvis or ureter spreads, it can spread to the following:

  • bladder
  • parts of the kidney around the renal pelvis
  • fat around the kidney or ureter
  • lymph nodes
  • prostate
  • uterus
  • vagina
  • abdominal or pelvic wall
  • lung
  • bone
  • liver

Expert review and references

  • American Joint Committee on Cancer. AJCC Cancer Staging Handbook. 7th ed. Chicago: Springer; 2010.
  • Brierley JD, Gospodarowicz MK, Wittekind C (eds.). TNM Classification of Malignant Tumours. 8th ed. Wiley Blackwell; 2017.
  • Feldman AS, Efstathiou JA, Lee RJ, Dahl DM, Michaelson MD, Zietman AL . Cancer of the bladder, ureter, and renal pelvis. DeVita VT Jr, Lawrence TS, Rosenberg SA. Cancer: Principles and Practice of Oncology. 10th ed. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2015: 65:896-916.
  • Jarrard DF. Medscape Reference: Urothelial Tumors of the Renal Pelvis and Ureters. 2016: https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/452449-overview.
  • National Cancer Institute. Transitional Cell Cancer of the Renal Pelvis and Ureter Treatment (PDQ®) Health Professional Version. 2018: https://www.cancer.gov/types/kidney/hp/transitional-cell-treatment-pdq.