Renal cell carcinoma

Alternative Names

Renal cancer; Kidney cancer; Hypernephroma; Adenocarcinoma of renal cells; Cancer – kidney

Definition of Renal cell carcinoma

Renal cell carcinoma is a type of kidney cancer in which the cancerous cells are found in the lining of very small tubes (tubules) in the kidney.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Renal cell carcinoma is the most common type of kidney cancer in adults. It occurs most often in men ages 50 – 70.

Signs and tests

Examination of the abdomen may show a mass or organ enlargement, particularly of the kidney or liver. Men may have a varicocele in the scrotum (a varicocele that is only on the right side is especially suspicious).

Treatment

Surgical removal of all or part of the kidney () is recommended. This may include removing the bladder or surrounding tissues or lymph nodes.

Expectations (prognosis)

The outcome depends on how much the cancer has spread and how well it responds to treatment. The survival rate is highest if the tumor is in the early stages and has not spread outside the kidney. If it has spread to the lymph nodes or to other organs, the survival rate is much lower.

Review

David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; Yi-Bin Chen, MD, Leukemia/Bone Marrow Transplant Program, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 3/2/2010

Kidney anatomy
Kidney tumor - CT scan
Kidney metastases, CT scan
Kidney - blood and urine flow

ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

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