Cancer of the Ureter and Renal Pelvis | Urothelial Cancer | MedStar Health

The renal pelvis collects the urine made by the kidney and joins the ureter, the long tube carrying urine from the kidney to the urinary bladder. The renal pelvis and ureter are lined by transitional cells, which can develop urothelial cancer.

Risk factors for urothelial cancer include long-term overuse of over-the-counter pain medications, exposure to certain chemicals and dyes (such as those used in processing leather goods, textiles, plastics, and rubber), and cigarette smoking.

Signs and symptoms may include flank or back pain or blood in the urine, or other symptoms such as painful or frequent urination.

Diagnosis maybe based on history and physical examination but may also require urine tests, imaging (ultrasound, CT scan, or MRI) and further investigation with cystoscopy or ureteroscopy and possibly biopsy. Treatment options depend on the stage of the disease but may include surgery, instillation of a solution into the urinary tract, or chemotherapy.

We employ a multidisciplinary approach, with urologists, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, pathologists, radiologists, and clinical trial specialists to determine the full spectrum of treatment options available and most suitable for an individual patient.

Our providers

Ryan Cleary is a urology and robotic surgery specialist with MedStar Health in Baltimore Maryland.

Expert urology care

Getting the care you need starts with seeing one of our urologists.