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Renal Cell Carcinoma
(OC016)

Introduction


There are several different types of cancer that can affect the kidney. Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is the most common type, affecting approximately 40,000 persons every year in the United States. However, it is not a very common type of cancer overall.

RCC, also called renal adenocarcinoma or hypernephroma, is the development of cancerous changes in the cells of the renal tubules. These are the functional units of the kidneys where urine is formed and consist of structures called nephrons and collecting tubules.

As kidney cancer grows, it may invade organs near the kidney such as the liver, colon, or pancreas. Kidney cancer cells may also spread to areas away from the original site (metastasize) such as the lymph nodes, brain, lungs or bone.

Surgery is the mainstay of treatment for RCC, although usually a combination of treatment modalities is utilized. Outcome is greatly improved when the cancer is caught early, before metastases have occurred.

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