Several types of cancer can start in the kidney. The most common type is renal cell cancer, the most common type of kidney cancer in adults. It begins in the lining of the renal tubules in the kidney.The renal tubules filter the blood and produce urine. This type is sometimes called renal adenocarcinoma or hypernephroma.Another type of cancer, transitional cell carcinoma, affects the renal pelvis. It is similar to bladder cancer and is often treated like bladder cancer. It develops in the lining of the bladder, ureter, or renal pelvis (the part of the kidney that collects, holds, and drains urine).Many factors have been identified as potential causes of kidney cancer. Some of them include the following: cigarette smoking, which doubles the risk and contributes to as many as one-third of the cases; obesity; high blood pressure and high blood pressure-related medications.